Let’s Connect: New Platform Brings Together Alumni, Students
With the launch of The Fisher Edge in fall 2018, the Office of Institutional Advancement, in collaboration with the Center for Career and Academic Planning, joined the initiative by launching Cardinal Connections, a new online platform that connects alumni and students with the purpose of providing meaningful avenues for mentorship and guidance.
Teah Terrance, director of alumni and constituent engagement, called the software a “LinkedIn” style networking site where alumni can volunteer to let students shadow them on the job, offer internship positions, or provide general career advice. Terrance mentioned that alumni from across the world, including Fairbanks, Alaska and London, England have already signed on to digitally mentor students.
“It’s a great way for alumni to engage with each other and with today’s Fisher students by finding people who have moved to the region they now call home or are in a career that a student might be interested in exploring,” she said. “And, because alumni and students have a shared experience in being graduates of Fisher, there is already a good starting point for those conversations.”
Alumni can log in through their LinkedIn accounts and adjust their involvement based on their capacity.
“Some alumni might be able to take interns or offer a full shadowing experience while others may have the opportunity to have a phone call with a student,” she explained. “Whatever the level of engagement, we just want Cardinals to connect.”
Erin Loftus ’19, a senior majoring in marketing, hopes to attend George Washington University in the fall to earn a master’s in political management. She joined Cardinal Connections during its pilot phase to meet Fisher alumni living in the D.C. area working as lawyers, paralegals, or in other legal professions.
“I have interned in the Monroe County District Attorney’s office, and spent the summer in the majority office of the Monroe County Legislature. In both cases, I have been fortunate enough to work with talented Fisher alumni, and I have seen how the Fisher name and connections are very respected,” she explained. “I feel more comfortable connecting because these are Fisher people who have offered their expertise. And, it’s more than just getting to a large number of connections, but actually getting advice and guidance.”
While, the platform will officially launch for students on Monday, Oct. 15, the College implemented a soft launch for alumni during Homecoming weekend in an effort to have a robust set of mentors ready to work with students. That’s a job Loftus said she’ll be eager to do a year from now.
“Hopefully I’ll be at GW and I’ll get a connection request from a Fisher student looking for advice. And I’ll be able to pay it forward,” she said.