E-Net News

Elon’s National Networking Events Series kicks off in January

More than 30 networking events are being planned throughout the country in an effort to connect alumni to the university’s rapidly growing professional network.

Building on the success of the past two years, alumni chapters and clubs in 31 cities will take part in Elon’s third annual National Networking Event Series on Jan. 21-Feb. 5, with events designed to enhance professional networks and connect attendees to Elon’s 25,000 active alumni.

As part of the events, alumni will be able to:

  • network with other alumni, parents and mentors in their area;
  • obtain LinkedIn training incorporating new functionality; enhance their online brand to attract interest from potential employers;
  • receive resources and guides to improve networking skills;
  • leverage relationships within their industry from attendees in 31 markets; and connect to The Elon Network for future programs.

Representatives from the Office of Alumni Engagement and Elon’s Student Professional Development Center, which are organizing the events, will also be on hand at each event to provide information about the university’s career resources, including the Elon Job and Mentor Networks.

“Our alumni are such a valuable resource for not only each other, but for our current students,” says Lauren Limerick Duffy ’09, Elon’s associate director of corporate and employer relations. “We are lucky and grateful so many of our alumni help connect the university to their employers, who often times happen to be some of the nation’s top companies and organizations.”

The 2014 National Networking Event Series will offer more than 30 programs throughout the country, a significant increase from the previous year, when 641 alumni attended 15 events during the last week of January. Organizers hope to see more than 1,000 people at the events.

“This is going to be the most significant series of alumni networking events in Elon’s history,” Tait Arend ’96 MBA’00, interim director of alumni engagement, says. “I couldn’t be more excited about the impact this event can have on each and every Elon alum.”

He adds that the National Networking Event Series is a key component of the Office of Alumni Engagement’s comprehensive strategy to support the professional development and careers of alumni. Other efforts in support of this goal include helping build a significant Elon presence on LinkedIn, which already has more than 17,000 alumni and parents; rolling out a career webinar series and videos to enhance professional networking skills; and the implementation of regional lifelong learning events.

At all National Networking events, attendees will receive training on a LinkedIn alumni application that will help them enhance their LinkedIn profile and, by extension, their professional network. In an era where online networks are the norm, having a polished LinkedIn profile is indispensable, says Tyler Reynolds ’11, who is helping organize the networking event in Denver. “The average college student has north of 500 Facebook friends and ideally developed relationships with 2 to 3 professors,” he says, adding that if one transfers those connections to LinkedIn, one could easily have 2 to 3 recommendations and 500 connections.

Besides the professional benefits the networking events will offer, they are also an opportunity for alumni to continue engaging and reconnecting with their alma mater, Arend says. More than 3,500 alumni returned to campus in November to take part in Elon’s 125 Anniversary Homecoming Weekend, making it the largest in the university’s history. The weekend festivities included a special quasquicentennial celebration, where seven distinguished and accomplished alumni were honored, as well as the dedication of Martin Alumni Center, a new space at the corner of Haggard and O’Kelley avenues that offers a variety of customized amenities for alumni returning to campus.

 “The National Networking Event Series creates a wonderful opportunity for alumni to reconnect with the university and expand their professional networks,” Duffy says. “It’s our hope the events will provide alumni with an opportunity to learn about how they can give back to Elon with their time, expertise and connections.”

For more information about the National Networking Event Series visit www.elon.edu/alumninetworking.

Keren Rivas,
12/13/2013 2:25 PM