Bearcats Connect Could Be a Catalyst for Your Next Job Offer
Written by Chris Pasion, graduate assistant to The Graduate School.
Creating and maintaining a healthy professional network is key to succeeding in the post-graduation job search. The possibilities for expanding your network at university are massive; you’ll never inhabit the same space as you do now, surrounded by (virtually, for the time being) a diverse collection of people with different backgrounds, schools of thought, and professional goals. As students, our best resources for finding connections and open positions are oftentimes our professors or peers. These days, networking with people online is just as important as connecting with people in person. Curating an online platform for professionalism can be the catalyst needed to land your dream job. Enter: Bearcats Connect.
Bearcats Connect is the professional social media platform for UC students. Think LinkedIn, but everyone on the site has common ground in their educational institution. Despite only launching within the last few months, there are already nearly one thousand current users on the platform from all over the country, all of whom attended UC at some point in their educational career. Some have stuck around the area and are still based in Cincinnati, while others have relocated to new places, which makes them a valuable resource for professional advice or connections outside of the city.
The UC Alumni Association launched Bearcats Connect to help students easily build connections with alumni and seek mentorship experiences. You will find people who graduated decades ago and are helping lift others as they climb the professional ladder, people who just graduated, landed their first job, and want to help others with the search, and people who are just dipping their toes into the networking pool. In addition to the many potential connections you can make on the platform, Bearcats Connect also has the Bearcats Business Directory, where you can find businesses that are owned and operated by UC alumni members, as well mentorship resources for both mentors and mentees. Lastly, Bearcats Connect also features a number of job postings and referrals for anyone on the job hunt.
When you create your Bearcats Connect account, you will answer a number of questions that will build your online persona and match you to people with similar interests, in similar fields, and on similar paths. Take the time to answer these and fully set up your profile so that you pop up to other people on the website as they browse for new connections. A welcoming online persona will be their first point of contact with you as a person, so be sure to include everything you might want a potential business connection or employer to know.
Professional development looks very different that it did six months ago; it’s not as easy to meet new people and create new connections when everyone is limited to their own spaces. But UC is establishing resources that makes professional development easy, from Bearcats Connect to online workshops, virtual career fairs, and more. COVID or no, there is always a reason to work on your professional development. So after you’ve attended one of UC’s seven virtual career fairs, be sure to follow up with the connections you make by linking with them on Bearcats Connect.