In a competitive job market, networking is essential. The Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) Network on LinkedIn is an online community of Puget Sound graduates who have volunteered to share information with students and alumni about career and education options beyond Puget Sound.

Alumni are students’ best resource when it comes to envisioning a future beyond Puget Sound. If you’ve graduated recently, you have an opportunity to serve as a resource for current students…join the ASK Network!

You may be thinking:

“But I don’t have a job yet…”

That’s okay. Joining ASK is a great way to build your network. Consider listing your job title as “searching for…” to start with, and access ASK as you conduct your own search for information about careers, graduate schools, and cities you’ll be moving to. The balance of how much advice you seek to how much advice you can offer will shift as you transition from Puget Sound.

Here’s what a recent grad had to say: “I can appreciate the importance of continual networking. While I navigate my way through the career world, I am open to meeting new people no matter what interest they may hold. You never know who will end up making a big impact on your life.”

“But I’m planning on leaving the Pacific Northwest…”

That’s okay too. ASK members live all across the country and around the world.

Networking can happen just as easily via phone or e-mail, as in person. And since students typically reach out to ASK members via e-mail, location is immaterial. Plus, students may be thinking about moving to where you live and you could help them connect locally.

Keep in mind:

Networking is an ongoing process.

Staying connected is an important part of the process. ASK members write:

“Network! There are so many resources around you–it’s simply a matter of taking advantage of them. You never know who/what will end up helping you out the most.”

“The most successful form of networking is just making friends and staying in contact with them. Pushing a business card at every random stranger you meet is much less likely to get you a job than keeping your friends posted about what you’re looking for so they can keep an eye out for relevant opportunities.”

You have something to share!

Students value a wide range of perspectives.

Whether you have a job or not…live locally or afar…regardless of your major or the type of work you pursue…you are a Puget Sound grad and you understand what current students are going through.

Students particularly enjoy connecting with recent graduates. If you begin sharing your knowledge and experience right now, as you acquire it, you can make an immediate impact on the lives of Loggers who are following in your footsteps. Best said by a recent grad (and ASK member): “I love showing current students the myriad of opportunities available and sharing my experiences and resources to help them accomplish their goals.”

No matter where you are in your career, you can be a valuable source of information and inspiration for current students. So join Puget Sound’s ASK Network, because once a Logger, always a Logger!

© 2011 Career and Employment Services, University of Puget Sound
Photo: Kris Hay