Students, alumni, and employers are coming together on a new platform created to advance students in their professional lives.
The newly launched Lundquist Connect offers advice, mentorship, and, fittingly, a space for Ducks to make connections.
The online platform allows students to initiate contact with alumni and potential employers for conversations, tips, or general information.
“Everyone on the platform has raised their hand saying, ‘I want to be here; I want to connect,’ so it reduces some of the fear of networking,” said Chris Bennett, senior associate director for career engagement at the college’s Mohr Career Services.
Friends of the college, alumni, recruiters, board members, and other interested Ducks are welcome to join.
One of the many benefits of the platform is its versatility.
While long-term mentoring has value, some students are not looking for a year-long connection, some just have a few questions, according to Bennett.
“Lundquist Connect offers a low stakes, uncomplicated point of entry,” Bennett said.
Cameron Voiselle, an MBA candidate specializing in sports business, recently experienced that type of connection and plans to make Lundquist Connect a regular part of his networking routine.
“My conversation went very well,” Voiselle said. “The alum that I spoke with has only been in the working world for about a year and a half, but he was incredibly knowledgeable about the organization he worked for and was open about the struggles that COVID has reaped. He noted that sports is a resilient industry and possibilities are still out there. And to not get discouraged. He had nothing but great things to say about UO and his experience as an undergraduate, particularly as it relates to sports business. He was very easy-going, and I didn’t feel intimidated or like I was ‘bothering’ him.”
Voiselle said he appreciates that the platform encourages messages to alumni.
“You can check out their profile, see what your shared interests may be, and gain a sneak peak into what they do for a living,” he said. “If it aligns with your career goals or interests, the platform will encourage you to reach out. I think knowing that the alumni volunteered to be on this platform is also helpful; it doesn’t so much feel that you are blindly reaching out to connect.”
MBA candidate Dallas Anderson described his Lundquist Connect conversation as “fantastic.”
“She provided great insights on how she found her current job despite the challenging job market,” he said. “She also gave some great tips on researching companies offering internships before applying and how to succeed in my time at UO.”
“I was really impressed with how quickly alums responded to me,” he added. “Within 15 minutes of reaching out, two different people messaged me with their phone numbers to connect. With LinkedIn, sometimes it takes weeks to hear back, but Lundquist Connect was nearly an instant connection.”
To get started with Lundquist Connect, one can log in with LinkedIn credentials or create a separate account using one’s email. The optional questions drive a matching algorithm that helps people discover who may be a good match for conversation and connection.
Already, more than 550 alumni have signed up, with folks representing six continents and 33 U.S. states.
Alumni and friends are visible to students and one another, but student information is not visible unless the student reaches out first.
Ready to connect?
—AnneMarie Knepper-Sjoblom ’05, Lundquist College Communications