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Elon concludes successful National Networking Event Series

The popular program expanded to 32 cities and hit a record number for attendance in 2014.

Elon's Triangle alumni chapter hosted a networking event in Raleigh, NC.

More than 1,000 Elon alumni, parents and friends made new connections and expanded their professional networks during the university’s third annual National Networking Event Series, held Jan. 22 – Feb. 6.

“The 2014 National Networking Event Series was restructured to deliver the maximum value to our alumni, and the response so far has been extremely positive,” says Tait Arend ’96 MBA’00, interim director of alumni engagement. “Last year, we held events in 15 cities. This year, we expanded to 32 markets and saw a 60 percent increase in total attendance. Most importantly, alumni are telling us that they successfully grew their professional networks at these events, and will attend again next year.”

Building on the series’ existing model of open networking, the program also included training on a new LinkedIn functionality that allows users to search the website’s profiles by university or college. Two new resource guides that were provided to attendees featured information on how to effectively network, from developing an elevator speech before attending an event to following up with new connections after the fact.

"National Networking events are a great opportunity to connect with a variety of alums, share professional experiences and insights, and forge new relationships,” says Elise Delmerico ’12, an account coordinator at Dodge Communications in Alpharetta, Ga. “Seeing so many passionate people at the event was indicative of the strong foundation and network Elon provides, and was a great reminder of the Elon community we have in Atlanta, and throughout the country."

Alecia Jeffries Ashford ’86 attended Michigan’s first-ever networking event on Feb. 4 in Detroit, and made several new Elon connections.

Alumni and guests gathered at Live Oak Bank in Wilmington, NC, for a Jan. 27 event.

“We came together as total strangers representing different graduating years from 1986 to 2008,” says Ashford, who works in Ford Motor Company’s finance division. “Our group made plans to continue to network with each other, (and) started to talk about the next networking event as well as finding ways to help future Elon grads come to Michigan.” 

Many of the events came together with the help of alumni volunteers like Juliana Cochnar ’95, who helped coordinate a gathering in San Francisco.  

“I've been out of school for nearly 20 years, but recently I've felt the desire to reconnect with Elon and alumni in the Bay area,” says Cochnar. “Helping organize a national networking event was an easy way to help out and get reengaged.”

The National Networking Event Series is part of Elon’s Lifelong Learning program, which offers multiple resources for both personal and professional development. Other tools include a monthly series of career webinars focusing on topics from building a professional online presence to tips for writing a resume, and The Elon Network on LinkedIn, which has 6,700 members. Alumni also have lifetime access to various career resources in Elon’s Student Professional Development Center, including resume and cover letter tips, career advising and job search tools.

“Elon is committed to the professional development of our alumni, and the Elon network is a powerful career tool,” says Arend. “We want to help alumni facilitate those connections as much as possible.”

Learn more about professional and personal development resources available to alumni at Elon's Lifelong Learning website. 

Megan McClure,
2/17/2014 10:45 AM