I was at a light behind a car with a big sticker announcing that they were an Alum of New York University. Pretty regular, unremarkable thing to see. But I am wondering, what does and what should someone be looking for when you look at a college?
My initial thought is check in with the alumni office first with the career/guidance office a close second or even in a tie for first. Even if you do not know what you want to study the reality is these two places could be the best tools any college has to offer. I appreciate the fact that the name on some pieces of paper carriers more prestige than others but the reality is it is a piece of paper. You can read all the books you want but if you do not do anything with the information it isn’t really knowledge.
If you do have a major it probably makes a ton of sense to then check in on the professors in whatever department you are looking at. Do they actually have experience beyond the campus or are they just teaching courses? Have they had a career and now are teaching or did they just keep going to school without actually applying any of the “knowledge” they gained.
**Disclosure, I did drop out of an MBA program when I realized what was being taught was not how the information/concept was actually used.**
I am sure that there are some highly specialized curriculum programs for pretty specific majors throughout the college landscape. I am also sure there are lots of people with highly specialized degrees who are either unemployed or working in a different field that would not have required a degree. No sense in being that person.
Does my college have a solid alumni network? See there events calendar, LinkedIn, Facebook groups.
Does the career office regularly bring in outsiders to talk?
Do they regularly do job fairs where not only do you get to meet prospective employers but you also see a wide spectrum of companies?
Have you met other Alumni who can give a testimonial about the school and programs beyond things like “it’s a great place to go to school,” and ” You’ll have a lot of fun….”
Either way, just a thought.
I suggest always starting from a genuine position. Preferably a position that makes you want to help others and be a solid resource for everyone you know.
So over the last several years I have taught myself a lot about LinkedIn. It started about four years ago as a way to make sure I am keeping in touch with people. It has grown into a very useful tool for not only keeping a rolodex somewhat organized but also has allowed me to become more valuable for the people I value. The following is a little experiment I had done once before and just did again. It worked well the first time, I learned some lessons and here you go;
12/28/13 about 6 a.m. I invited everyone I could to “LinkIn” with me. Now on the surface some people would think this is spam but if you look beneath you realize on some level, some deeper than others, I have had contact with all the people I invited. Many were people I knew on some level we just never “Linked”
Now the starting point was 804 connections. Within 24 hours I was at 923 . This is a 14%+ increase in contacts and is almost a 6% return on the invitations sent. Really solid numbers. BUT remember this really just makes me more potentially valuable to the people that hire me, choose to work with me and see me as a resource. 41 of these new 119 actually looked at my profile, not sure where the value is in that stat.
Now is is a full 5 days later. 5 weird days on the calendar considering a weekend between Christmas and New Years, New Years eve and New Years Day and that much of the world is semi hibernating. Now the number is 1020. A solid 10% return on invitations and 25% increase in contacts.
But where is the value in this?
- In theory I am more valuable to my contacts because I have more contacts.
- I have shown up in 216 new feeds which have potentially been seen by 26,000+ people.
- LinkedIn’s software now presents new opportunities based on who is in my network.
- Anytime I put something out the odds are higher that my “buyer” will see it, better yet a new buyer.
Well now what? Here are some tips I share when the opportunity arises. Reality is if you make the people around you better you’ll become better.