PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Networking Platform LionLink Creates New Possibilities For Alumni Mentorship

The Penn State Alumni Association takes a snapshot of total living Penn State alumni every year on July 1. Most students know that networking with Penn State alumni can get you a long way in your job search and career, but with a current total of more than 650,000 living alumni, they seem more like a largely untapped resource.

Until recently, Penn State students could only contact alumni through the Alumni Association’s directory, which they only had access to if they were a member of the Blue and White Society. Now, the association is promoting a new platform, LionLink, to connect students with Penn State graduates.

LionLink is powered by PeopleGrove, a San Francisco-based company dedicated to helping “every student and professional realize their full potential by connecting them with the mentors, advisers and network needed to make that possible.” The company also powers sites for universities including Stanford, Georgetown, Baylor, Wellesley, and Clemson.

Allen Cao graduated from the Smeal College of Business in 2017 and works on university partnerships at PeopleGrove. As a Penn State student, he was very interested in speaking with alumni about entrepreneurship and other business opportunities.

“I used that platform to hit up a bunch of people, but didn’t really get any responses. There were a lot of barriers for me to reach out,” he said. “It was just their graduation year and their name. You couldn’t get their e-mail or their number.”

LionLink makes it possible for alumni who are specifically interested in advising students to sign up for the platform. Alumni can decide how many students they want to see or how much time they have to devote to students. Their contact information is still protected, but when a someone sends them a message on LionLink, it gets forwarded to their personal inbox so there’s a higher chance they see it.

According to Alumni Career Services Director Cheryl Bonner, the Alumni Association wanted to get a certain number of alumni signed up for LionLink before promoting it to students through Career Services this semester. The association wanted 1,000 alumni signed up by the end of 2017 and ended up exceeding its goal by more than 800.

“We wanted a software that, in a way, would be our own LinkedIn group that would allow people to post a profile and share information,” Bonner said. “Its primary purpose is to ask questions about career, reach out to alums…to ask for information and advice. It’s a great way for first-year students who are deciding on their major to talk to someone all the way to seniors who are considering their grad school or job offers and every stage in between.”

After students sign up for LionLink and enter information about their major, classes, and interests, they can take a quiz to find recommended alumni to reach out to based on location and field. They can participate in online discussions, browse the full list of alumni, or sign up for private mentoring groups or events set up by faculty.

Cao believes that a big selling point for LionLink is its “social media look and feel.”

“As a recent grad, I know that the younger [students] get, the less they want barriers in software. They’ll just ‘X’ it out,” he said. “We really make sure it’s super easy to use and really easy to make connections.”

About the Author

Gabriela Stevenson

Gabriela is a junior majoring in print and digital journalism and Onward State's student life editor. She is from Norristown, PA, which she normally refers to as "30 minutes outside of Philadelphia" (she looked up the exact driving time). She enjoys Broadway musicals, neck pillows, and eating cereal at night. To contact Gabriela, e-mail her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @GabiStevenson if you want to feel young again.

Comments

Athletics

Longtime Lady Lions Coach Rene Portland Dies Of Cancer

Portland brought Penn State women’s basketball to national prominence during her 27-year coaching tenure.

Penn State Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

‘Rathskeller’ Name Subject Of Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

The complaint cites that the business has been sold throughout the years and is not tied to that specific location.

Finance Committee Recommends Tuition Freeze For In-State Undergraduate Students

If it is approved by a full-Board vote Friday, the committee’s budget plan will freeze in-state undergraduate tuition for the first time since 2015.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn State Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

A banner raising ceremony will commemorate the achievement prior to the team’s season opener on November 9 against North Florida.

Send this to a friend