KNOXVILLE—With the employment rate not expected to rebound anytime soon, the University of Tennessee Alumni Association (UTAA) is making it easier for alumni to use their alma mater as a launch pad toward a new job.
UTAA will unveil new tools in January to make it easier for more than 325,000 UT alumni to network with one another.
“We surveyed our alumni and the number one request they had was for more networking opportunities and career services,” said Mike McCay, senior director of marketing and career services at UTAA.
One of the services includes a job search tool called www.careershift.com where alumni can look for job postings that include alumni as contacts.
“It does provide a wide range or results including positions I haven’t seen elsewhere, and I think it’s great that UT is providing this service for alumni,” said Barbara Grobicki, UT alumnus.
UTAA is also building an alumni directory that goes beyond contact information. Called VolsConnect for the Knoxville campus, the alumni office offers services such as mentoring, webcast hosting, and guest speaking to fellow alumni. More than a thousand alumni already have signed up for these roles. Each university within the UT system has its own directory.
UTAA is also bolstering job opportunities. It is developing an online job board to provide a dedicated platform for alumni to search and post jobs. Staff members also connect alumni within UTAA’s LinkedIn group. Additionally, the association is busy assembling regional career fairs and industry-specific networking events. The first such event, a career fair, will be held in Atlanta on January 20.
“We realize our alumni are all over the country and the world, so we have tried to make everything accessible via the web or by phone,” said McCay. “We have also tried to make networking events available to them regardless of where they live or work.”
UTAA also offers services for those looking to sharpen their skills, such as one-on-one career counseling services and long-distance education with a series of webinars on hot topics.
McCay says all of the tools will continue to expand in scope—promising to connect more alumni and offer more career opportunities.
For more information about UTAA, visit volsconnect.com. UTAA has partnered with the career services offices from UT Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Martin in offering these services.
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