Cal Poly’s Career Services and Alumni Engagement teams created Career Connections, an online resource to connect Cal Poly alumni and current students for networking and mentoring opportunities. The website launched June 3.
The portal is exclusive to Cal Poly students and alumni and can be used for career advice and mentoring, as well as further networking. Similar to LinkedIn, the site allows users to request to connect with each other, request meetings or send a message.
Career Services Executive Director Eileen Buecher said while the platform will work to connect alumni and students, MustangJobs remains Cal Poly’s source for recruiting and job postings.
Buecher said this program stemmed from an early Cal Poly Alumni Association idea from 2011 that accelerated into a greater group project in summer 2018.
The implementation team formed in December 2018 and was made up of Career Services, Alumni Engagement, Student Affairs, and the Information Technology departments. Funding for the program consisted of alumni donations combined with financial commitments made by the Orfalea College of Business, College of Engineering, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and College of Science and Math.
“We get to advance the Cal Poly community and showcase the ‘Learn by Doing’ accomplishments of students and of the alumni,” Buecher said. “It’s going to be an opportunity for us to come together and celebrate Cal Poly.”
Buecher said the platform has one-on-one mentoring, as well as open and closed group sessions, to share resources and information. The platform is also an opportunity for students to easily access services and tools provided by Career Services. Connection abilities range from alumni-to-alumni, alumni-to-student and student-to-student.
To jump-start the availability and diversity of connections, alumni were given access to the portal May 16 to build their profiles and be ready to assist students in June. With the cluster of registered alumni, the site is able to match students with suggested alumni through preferences such as industry, location and other expertise.
Buecher said alumni have wanted a pathway to give back for a while and around 1,800 of them had registered on the platform prior to its launch.
“It’s taking the Cal Poly experience … it doesn’t end after you graduate,” Buecher said.