It wasn’t until a few years after I graduated that I realized how much affection I had for my alma mater, Indiana University. I would return to campus and stroll the streets and pathways and remember how much fun I had, how much I learned, who my best friends were. I remember all-nighters with fondness, tests that did not go well with a laugh, and the many insights I had about life, education, and the world.
Many alumni of Indiana University feel the same way and more importantly, they translate those feelings into a sense of mission. Our alumni want to give back in some way. They would love to find ways to help current and future students. When I travel and meet fellow Hoosiers, one question they always ask me is, “How can I help?” I can’t speak for other institutions, but I know that IU engenders a kind of camaraderie that allows for a generous feeling of giving back.
The Walter Center Success Network
While College of Arts + Sciences alumni give back through funding internship scholarships and other ways, they also want to help current students succeed in their careers. Alumni love to speak to current students about their jobs, industries, cities, and career paths through the Walter Center Success Network.
This network of thousands of alumni is the only place you can meet alumni from the many programs and departments in the College at once. You’re able to find someone to speak with by searching through fields, locations, and areas of expertise. Alumni will also list what student organizations they belonged to during their time at IU.
Currently, there are alumni from every major and from all over the US and the world in the WCSN. If you browse through the alumni, you are bound to spot some profiles that are interesting to you or have something to do with your career interests.
Ideas of How to Use the Walter Center Success Network:
- You have always wanted to be a writer but are not sure what to study to give you the best chance. Look for writers and check to see what they studied. You might be surprised.
- You really want to move to LA when you graduate and make movies. Search for alumni in LA and try to ask a few what that is like and how you can best get your start there.
- You really want a job at a pharmaceutical company, you have applied for several and you are not getting any interviews. You can find an alumnus in a pharmaceutical company to ask to look at your resume.
The Walter Center Success Network allows you to meet the people who came before you, the ones who are really excited to give you the advice no one ever gave them. If you do not feel you have the professional connections that your friends have, this is the tool to use to help you level the playing field. You can easily make industry connections this way.
Try this Activity:
- Log on to the Walter Center Success Network using CAS
- Fill out your profile with all the details you can
- Include a picture!
- Browse for alumni who seem interesting
- Send someone a message! The website will walk you through what to say
Remember to be polite and never ask for a job outright. Follow up after your conversation with a thank-you, and plan to give back to students like yourself someday.