Each year about 800 Hope College students graduate and become Hope College alumni. As they enter the workforce or head to graduate school, we stay in touch, including through an annual graduate survey. In the most recent survey, 46% said networking connections helped them secure employment. When, in a different survey, we asked all alumni to share which engagement activities are currently the most underdeveloped, they cited networking, mentoring and identifying job opportunities.
Improvements in these areas can have lasting and meaningful results. In a longitudinal study published in The Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers found a positive correlation between effort put into building contacts and subsequent pay raises and career satisfaction. Plus, according to Gallup, the odds of being engaged at work are 2.2 times higher if you had a mentor during college who encouraged you to pursue your goals and dreams.
Introducing The Hope College Connection
This is where The Hope College Connection comes in. This new platform brings together students, alumni and families for mentoring and experiential learning. You can:
- Activate your profile with your communication preferences.
- Explore the Alumni Directory by geography, class year or major.
- Make a connection and explore active users by geography, industry or help topics.
- Discover new contacts with the platform’s powerful smart-matching algorithm.
- Share career advice and industry insight with students and alumni.
- Communicate on your own time with in-platform video meetings and messaging, text notifications and integration with LinkedIn and email.
Up and Running
In the first month of promoting The Hope College Connection to alumni and families:
- Over 1,000 users from 44 states and 16 countries have activated their profiles. This is 22% of our goal for the first year.
- We have at least one member of the community with industry experience in each of the 74 categories listed.
- 176 messages have been sent between users with an average response rate of 52%
Students will begin accessing the platform throughout the remainder of this semester.
The Big Picture
Networking and mentoring at Hope is addressed in a holistic way. In addition to access to The Hope College Connection platform, students have access to resources that help them reflect on current mentor relationships, assess areas of need, establish new relationships and map their mentoring network. We celebrated a number of these relationships in the Spring 2019 issue of News from Hope College.
The Hope College Connection Live!
The Hope College Connection Live! events are the in-person counterpart to the online platform. These networking events provide the opportunity for current Hope students to meet and receive advice from alumni. The goal is to introduce students to the multiple opportunities that exist for them when deciding where to live and work. For the remainder of this year’s series, we will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 3 and Chicago, Illinois on April 7.
Getting Started and Getting Help
Students, alumni, families, faculty and staff are invited to visit connection.hope.edu to activate their profile and make the most of their membership in the Hope College community.
The Hope College Connection is provided through the generous support of donors and supported by Alumni and Family Engagement and the Boerigter Center for Calling and Career.
In addition to user guides and support features within the platform available at any time, student and professional staff are ready to assist you between 8 AM and 5 PM ET on Monday through Friday. If you need assistance getting started or have questions about the platform, please contact 616.395.7250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.