Alumni launch career-based networks

first_imgThe Alumni Association is launching a new initiative that will aim to provide alumni with specific professional networks in careers that graduates pursue rather than their area of study.Each network will be led by a council of five to seven alums in the specific industry who will be in charge of working with the Alumni Association to work out the plans and goals of each network. As of now, there is an entertainment and veterans network, with plans for education and real estate networks underway.Alumni have suggested that USC, which often prides itself on the strength of Trojan Family alumni network, should strengthen its networking after college.“These changes go to enhance, rather than replace, the existing alumni networks,” said Charlene Fravien, director of alumni affinity and student outreach programs. “Typically, alums connect through the region in which they live or the school they studied under, but with the addition of these new communities, our alumni can connect through what they do -— their passions.”Through an array of alumni networks, there are several ways that graduates can give to the university and receive support as well. Alumni can stay connected through U.S. regional and international clubs, as well as the popular campus-based groups. These groups are divided by school and serve the needs of alumni who graduated from specific schools under the university. Campus-based groups aim to maintain the connection between students who pursued studies in similar areas and keep them updated on the latest in the school. Additionally, campus-based group members have access to their school’s alumni services and benefits, which often include the school’s career development office.The Trojan Entertainment Network (TEN) was the first of these new skills-based groups to develop last spring. Graduates who worked in entertainment approached the Alumni Association to suggest the formation of a new industry-specific network, since they allow for a mix of professional and social networking within the realm of a specific field. At the same time, members of TEN have also managed to maintain a strong connection to their former USC classmates and the university as a whole.According to Fravien, the four areas of entertainment, veterans, education and real estate networks were the first to receive special attention because they are fields that are most in need of stronger connections. Many alums end up working in one of the four areas where these new networks are being added, but many did not go to school looking to specialize in the industry. There are plenty of students who work in entertainment, but did not study in the School of Cinematic Arts, for example.“This is especially true for the veterans community at USC. There is a lot of affinity between veteran students and alumni, but there was never a network to bridge this community together,” Fravien said.An event was held for the launch of the veterans network last Wednesday, which included a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially unveil the university’s new Veteran Resource Center. Veteran students and alumni mingled and shared personal stories and goals. Alumni also received private campus tours, an effort to keep them updated on everything new and changing at USC.According to Nathaniel Hsieh, president of Society 53, the official student ambassador program of the Alumni Association, these new field-specific networks will function similarly to the existing campus-based groups.Like the campus-based groups that are offered through schools on campus, these groups will notify alumni of upcoming events, career opportunities and ways to give back to the school.“The purpose of these groups is to really maximize the Trojan Family network and connections,” Hsieh said.This is especially true in the way the new networks make for more cross programming among alumni relations. For example, a Trojan Entertainment Network event might take place in New York City, which would make way for interactions between alums who are active in the New York regional group. This cross-programming allows members of TEN to meet other individuals in the same industry and region, while strengthening ties to USC simultaneously.According to Fravien, over half of graduates who attended launch events for these newly formed networks were new to alumni events as a whole, proving their early-stage success and relevance among Trojan alums.As of now, only two of the four proposed networks are officially active. By spring of this year, the Alumni Association hopes to put together the advising and leadership councils for both the education and real estate networks and receive an official charter of recognition by the university over the summer.last_img read more