SOM Career Development Office Offers New Resources for Alumni
The SOM Career Development Office sees itself as an asset both to current students and to graduates of the school who may not have set foot on campus in decades. The CDO offers services to all SOM graduates, from advisory sessions to planned upcoming city-specific events aimed at bringing alumni together.
The department recently reorganized, putting greater emphasis on providing alumni with full-service career advising. The office's six relationship managers, who are experts in particular industries, now do one-on-one career advising with alumni. Ivan Kerbel, the CDO's director, said that this change significantly increases the CDO's ability to develop truly meaningful connections between people in the SOM community and companies that might be great fits for them. In addition, alumni can access the CDO's databases and participate in city-based events that will allow them to network with other alumni from all classes.
This month, the CDO added an important new tool: an official Yale School of Management Community LinkedIn group.
LinkedIn is an online networking website with more than 60 million members. The school’s group is managed by the staff of the CDO; it is open to current students, alumni, and faculty.
According to Kerbel, the group has the potential to connect the SOM community and spur the kind of networking that could lead to better opportunities. "LinkedIn has the ability with a quick search to create the kind of connections it might take hours of conversation to discover," Kerbel said. "It augments what the Office of Development and Alumni Relations does and it augments what we do. We see it as an important addition to the many SOM-related groups that already exist."
Kerbel said utilizing LinkedIn particularly appealed to the CDO because it is constantly updated, shows the career paths of individuals from one position to the next, and presents a unique and powerful search tool not just with respect to people in one’s own network but in others’ networks as well. He talked about how LinkedIn can create unexpected connections and gave an example of discovering the name of an additional MBA recruiting contact at the German office of a top consulting firm while viewing an MBA intern’s LinkedIn profile. "Researching companies and discovering current Yale contacts in various positions and in various locations adds a new dimension to our efforts, allowing students, alumni, and even faculty — as well as the CDO — to map the organizational architecture of a firm and to engage in more effective networking," he said.
In this way, LinkedIn fits well with the CDO’s other offerings. "Our goal is to leverage our knowledge and contacts with the entire SOM community," Kerbel said. "We are at the fulcrum."
LinkedIn Networking Tips
To maximize your LinkedIn profile for effective career networking, the CDO recommends the following tips:
Tip 1: Update your LinkedIn status
Let your contacts know what you are looking for and what you need.
Tip 2: Search member groups
This is a very useful way to tap into the Yale SOM alumni network and supplement the information available in the Yale SOM alumni database.
Tip 3: Use company pages
Search companies on your target list to see a LinkedIn profile of that firm. You can also view a list of current employees and recent hires.
Read more LinkedIn tips and access more career tools and resources in the SOM Alumni Portal.