If you’ve been in the working world for more than five minutes, you know that professional networking is helpful for finding job opportunities, gaining and sharing industry best practices and overall career growth.
The Missouri State University Alumni Association recognizes the value in networking as well, which is why we’re excited to launch a new program to help alumni network online called Bear to Bear: MarooNation Online Networking.
A key benefit of online networking is that it removes geographical barriers and allows graduates to tap into the full network of more than 110,000 Missouri State alumni around the world.
Online networking like a pro
While there are many similarities between in-person and online networking, there are some differences as well. To help bridge that gap, we have a few tips for how you can be successful when participating in online networking.
- Know the basics of how the system works. Networking events will be broken down into industry groups. To help facilitate meaningful conversations, the tool will randomly match alumni in the same industry group for one-on-one conversations. Learn more about the Bear to Bear: MarooNation Online Networking system on our website.
- Be prepared to jump right in. Each one-on-one chat will last for eight minutes. To make the most of this time, we suggest you have a brief introduction and a few questions prepared, along with any information you’d like to share (such as the Web address for a blog or personal website) easily accessible.
- Have a plan for following up with connections after the event. Bear to Bear: MarooNation Online Networking integrates with LinkedIn, so you can make your LinkedIn URL visible to event attendees and view theirs as well. Connecting on LinkedIn with alumni you talked to during the event is a great next step. In addition, the text transcript of your one-on-one conversations will be saved to your account and available for you to view after the event. So if you have an especially great conversation, we suggest you exchange contact information and make plans to continue the discussion where you left off.
For more ideas on how to make the most of online networking, check out the tips and tricks section on our website. You can also watch a short video on how to register for and participate in an online networking event.
Register to participate
The first Bear to Bear: MarooNation Online Networking event is Feb. 24 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. CST. Please register to participate and share the event with your alumni friends.