While we would like to think that we can get a job based on the merits of our skills or the great CV that we have written, it often depends on who you know. A significant advantage to finding a job once you have graduated from university is through connections. They might be people that your parents know or people that you have worked for (or with) while at school. They may be classmates from years prior who are now in positions to hire more staff. You can also make great connections while you are still at university that can pay off in the long run.
For example, Regent’s is humanities based. That means most people there already are going into one of the arts fields. Since it is so small, it is easy to intermingle with upper years and those who are graduating before us. If you keep in touch with those people, you can find out where they land. It is another lead for you when it is your turn to graduate and are looking for that first real job utilizing your skills learned in school.
Many alumnae will offer internships to students at their alma mater, and that can also help one line up a job after graduation. Whether it be at the same place you interned, via connections made while working there, or by using the real-world experience you gained to your advantage somewhere else, an internship can often help launch your career.
Many schools also maintain alumnae directories. The entries may contain names and contact information of graduates from the school, as well as possibly the places they now work, along with their position held. You may not know some of these people but they will remember their time at university. Since they know the level of education you received—having received it themselves—it is something else that can work in your favor. Reaching out to those in your desired field may not net you a job, but you may be able to set yourself up with a mentor.
Obviously, a bigger school will have a bigger pool of alumnae to reach out to. The odds of them remembering you even if you had a class or two together is probably slim to none, however. That is where a place like Regent’s provides the best of both worlds. We can reach out to fellow Regent’s alum, and even those who were graduating when we were arriving will likely be able to put a name to a face. The college is so small that everyone knew everyone else. When we need to, we can also make connections through Oxford itself, and it doesn’t require much looking to find a successful Oxford alum.
Sometimes when you are looking for a job, you need every advantage you can. You also need to set yourself apart from the other candidates. You can be the most qualified person for the job but if you cannot get a meeting with the person hiring or get your resume in front of them, it won’t matter. Using alumnae connections is a great way to get your foot in the door.