The Importance of Networking with Alumni on Handshake


Time and time again, college students are told to network as much as possible. You never know who might be able to serve as a mentor, or help you with an internship or a job in the future. With so many roles asking for more years of work experience than necessary — or even possible, for many college students —, having another way in is a perk within itself. Having a professional network to pull from can make applications down the road a less tedious process.

Take advantage of your alumni network

One of Handshake’s most helpful features that students may not know about is the ability to directly chat with alumni from your school. For many students, knowing that someone who attended your university has a job at a desirable company can bring a huge sense of relief. But also knowing you can easily reach out and connect with those graduates can provide even more knowledge and exposure to the role that you are applying for. Talking with former students who attended your college can help put your career in perspective, and help push you onto the path you really want to take. Crystal, a student at Oakland University, was actually reached out to by a fellow student for an internship position.

“The [student] recruiter’s posts understood the fact that we’re still students — it was relatable to me. She understood that while I’m going to give time and effort to the internship, my main focus is still going to be school. She told me in our initial interview that if I ever had an exam coming up, to just let her know and we could work around my school schedule.”

Crystal, Oakland University

Find an internship during a Handshake virtual event

Besides Handshake’s messaging feature, some students are also finding success networking with alumni at virtual events. In light of COVID and the virtual world it’s promoted, students are taking to Handshake to attend virtual career fairs and networking chats hosted by their schools. And it’s working! Especially for Marie Robert, senior at College of the Holy Cross, who has been celebrating her success of finding a full-time job through a virtual networking event with some of her college’s alumni.

“I used Handshake to go to a networking event with alumni. I actually got in touch with someone from General Electric Healthcare during that call. She was able to connect me with someone in the leadership program that I ended up applying for. Which I am now also going to be working for!”

Marie, College of the Holy Cross

Marie was able to get the alumni’s information to touch base after the event. The alumni helped her think of some great interview talking points and generally assisted her in standing out better to her future employer.

By clicking “RSVP” for this virtual networking event, Marie was able to get connected — and now, when January 2022 rolls around, she’ll be working full-time as a member of the Commercial Leadership Program at General Electric Healthcare.

For those still living in a virtual setting, going to virtual networking events through Handshake can be extremely beneficial. Marie can’t recommend it enough: “It was really easy to sign up for everything and [the event] had different links to one-on-one chats and group sessions. Handshake really mapped it out well!” So, what are you waiting for?

Repost of Handshake student blog