The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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UMass alumni networking event

My father has always told me, “It’s all about who you know, and who knows you.” When choosing the right university for me, I weighed that into my decision heavily. I cared a lot about having a big alumni network, and one that’s strong. There are a lot of qualified graduates competing for entry-level jobs just out of college, and sometimes the difference can be having a connection with the employers. Going to a school with a strong alumni network sets you up to make more connections with adults in hiring positions that could be the difference in that competition.


UMass produces over 5,000 graduates every year. Living in New England, the odds that I’ll run into one of those alums in my career after college is pretty high. And considering how good our business school is, a lot of them are in hiring positions at their companies. While I thought this was something that would mostly benefit me after graduation, UMass does a great job of getting students in front of alumni during our time on campus through a variety of events.


Just last week I attended two “Alumni Networking Events," one of which was within my major’s department, and the other a schoolwide event. The purposes of these events are to get advice from people who have been in your shoes and have a greater perspective. Whether you’re debating picking up a minor, studying abroad, or not sure how to get an internship, these people have done it and are able to look back and place a value on how helpful some things were for them and how they could have gone without doing other things. They care about the UMass community, and they enjoy coming back and sharing their experiences with us. I always feel more at ease about doing anything after I’ve talked to someone who has done it already. It lets me know what to expect, and knowing myself, how it would benefit me.


It’s also a good opportunity to start expanding your network. Both events I attended, I happened to have a mutual friend with at least one alumni guest. That’s a talking point that creates an opportunity to learn more about each other, and the more you talk, the more comfortable both parties will become. Having a face to the name will always help an employee in the hiring process, and you never know if you may one day be asking these people for a job, or for a reference, when you have a mutual connection to your job interviewer.


I’ve noticed a couple trends among alumni in hiring positions. The first one being that they always go out of their way to say that they make sure to give any job applicant from UMass a thorough and favorable look when they’re hiring because they share something in common. The second trend I’ve seen is that everyone who attended UMass LOVED their time here. They all start their advice by saying that I should stop to enjoy it while I can because it flies by. Having alumni look out for us is awesome. It’s an advantage when going out into the real world looking for a job. The value that comes with having a large network is invaluable.


I try to live by the expression “You can never have enough friends.” And at UMass, that's a pretty easy thing to do.


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