Linkedin, the social networking site that lets you connect into groups sharing common interests, provides a powerful way to use alumni networking to learn how to do business better, as well as to make contacts that might lead to jobs and internships. Join a group or association by creating a profile. Next, go to your profile and select the Groups link at the top of the page and then the Groups Directory link to view groups you may benefit from joining. This page provides a drop down box from which you can select an alumni, corporate, conference, networking, non-profit, or professional group. Once you’ve selected a group, choose (or not) to display the group logo on your pages, get a digest of emails and/or activity from the group, allow members of the group to send you messages, and select the frequency of your received messages.
The value of using an alumni group such as the Bryant University Alumni Association is the ability to draw on the working experiences of business professionals. Students learning in the classroom can supplement this learning by reading the threads posted by practitioners on Linkedin. For example, today I’m reading a discussion on 5 Reasons Why Small Business Needs Marketing, a great thread giving me insight into how small businesses are using other social networking tools effectively to market their business.
To learn more about social networking and how you can use it for competitive advantage, Ask a Reference Librarian!