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Your alumni network

As a member of our Brunel alumni family, you have access to a unique community of individuals to help grow and enrich your professional network. Whether you want to get in touch with an old classmate, find a talented and enthusiastic employee or connect with an experienced mentor, the Brunel Alumni Network is the ideal place to start your search.

 
Once you have registered, you can find out how to make the most of your network with our handy ‘How to…’ guides outlined below.

If there are any other areas of the network you would like help with, please feel free to email the team for further information and advice.

How to... create an eye-catching profile

Looking to build your professional network? New job? New direction? Whatever your reason for adding or refreshing your profile, it is really easy to get started or update.

The more information you can give about your skills, experience and qualifications, the more likely it is that someone will be interested in connecting with you. A complete profile will provide a variety of talking points for potential employers, employees, mentors or mentees to use to initiate a conversation with you. Without any professional information about you, they may not have a reason to connect.

Here’s how to get started…

  1. From the menu bar at the top of the page, click on ‘Me’ to see your profile, then click on the ‘Update your profile’ button on the top right of your profile page. You will see the information you entered when you registered, which may include information you chose to import from LinkedIn or Facebook.
  2. The simplest way to update this is to sync it with LinkedIn - doing so will bring your employment experience and achievements into your profile automatically, so you don’t need to worry about copying it all across. Simply click the Sync now’ button.
  3. You can also edit any of the individual fields on the page and click ‘Update’ in each category box to save the changes. The changes you make here WILL NOT link back to Facebook or LinkedIn so you can tailor your profile to this platform.
  4. If you’re not syncing your details from LinkedIn or Facebook and would prefer to create your profile from scratch, simply click on the individual fields to enter the information you’re keen to share and click ‘Update’ in each category box to save the changes.
  5. Be sure to add your preferences in the 'Willing to help' section so that other alumni can reach out to you (or untick the preference boxes if you'd rather not be contacted at the present time).
  6. Don't forget to add a photo to your profile page to make yourself more personable (and to allow your classmates to recognise you!).
  7. Once you have completed your profile, read it through to check you are happy that it reflects you at your best then click the 'I'm done updating' button to save your profile. You can make amends to your profile at any time if you would like to.

How to... find someone in the directory

The network directory is a great tool for tracking down a specific classmate or searching for a group of people (perhaps those from your graduating year or subject of study).

Follow these guidelines to get started…

  1. Click on 'Directory' from the menu bar across the top of the page.
  2. To the right of “Find the People you need” there is a search bar. Type in any of the following: name / job title / keyword or subject (e.g. “manager”, “entrepreneur”, “business”, “design”, “producer”) / company name (e.g. “Dyson”).
  3. Hit Return/Enter on your keyboard and you will see a list of people who meet some, or all, of your criteria.
  4. If you get a lot of results, you can use the ‘Refine your search’ box on the right side of the page to search using specific categories (e.g. degree, field of study, graduation year, location, company and willingness to help). So, for example, if you met someone called Sarah at a Brunel networking event who you think could be a good connection, but you couldn’t remember her surname, you can search for ‘Sarah’ then refine the search by what you know about her (such as her subject of study or company).
  5. You can also use the ‘Refine your search’ section to find a cohort of students from a particular subject and graduation year to see who else has joined the network site from your course / year group. This section also allows you to search for alumni within a particular location or industry or those who are willing to help.
  6. Once the results have been generated from any of your searches, your list will also indicate people who are willing to help - they will have a mortarboard symbol with ‘Willing to help’ underneath their degree details. To view the types of help they are willing to offer, click on the ‘View profile’ button next to their name - from their profile page, click on ‘See more’ underneath ‘Willing to help’.
  7. When you have located the person you were looking for, you can then send them a direct message through the system or request them as a mentor - check our guidelines on ‘using the messaging service’ and ‘approaching a mentor’ for more information.
  8. If you are looking to reach out to a specific group of alumni (e.g. country or subject area), rather than contacting someone individually, you can do so by posting an ‘update’ in the relevant groups available. Check our guidelines on ‘post an update / reach out to groups’ for more information.

How to... use the messaging service

The network site provides the facility to message a classmate or other members of the alumni community, even if you don’t have contact details for them. Here’s how to effectively use the massage portal to reach out to someone…

  1. Once you have found someone you want to connect with, open their profile.
  2. Check what kind of contact they are happy to receive by clicking on ‘See more’ under ‘Willing to help’ - if you can’t see this on their profile, then they are not willing to help and should not be approached unless you know them personally.
  3. Unless you are reaching out to someone you know personally, we recommend that you check the details on their profile to help you write an introductory message.
  4. Click the ‘Send message’ button on the right-hand side of the page and compose your message using what you have learned from their profile. For example, you might say something like: “I see you have previously worked at IBM and I am interested in applying for a job as a Developer there. I wondered whether you could give me any advice on the company or how to increase my chances of success?”
  5. A copy of every message sent through the platform is also sent to the user's email address, so the person being contacted will receive a notification that someone wants to get in touch. The person receiving the alert will not have to log into the system to see your message, as this will appear in the notification email.
  6. Once you have sent a message, please give people at least a few days to reply, and if you gently follow up with them once, but they still don’t respond, it might be that they are not going to / able to do so. Please respect that some people are very busy and aren’t always able to help as you might like them to, or within your timeframe.

Looking for a mentor and keen to send them a message? Take a look at our guidelines on ‘approaching a mentor’ for tips on how to get started.

How to... list yourself as a mentor / willing to help

If you are willing to help and/or become a mentor, your support can be invaluable to fellow alumni in providing careers guidance, advice, industry insight and professional development. For you, it’s a great opportunity to give something back, develop your mentoring skills and enhance your CV.

Follow these steps if you’re keen to list yourself as ‘willing to help…’

  1. From the menu bar at the top of the page, click on ‘Me’ to see your profile, then click on the ‘Update your profile’ button on the top right of your profile page.
  2. In the 'Willing to help' box you can select your preferences of how are you willing to help - these preferences will be displayed on your profile so that other alumni can reach out to you.
  3. Click ‘Update’ in the category box to save the changes.
  4. Once you have completed your preferences, click the 'I'm done updating' button to save to your profile. You can amend your preferences at any time.

How to... approach someone to be your mentor

Mentors can be invaluable for careers guidance, advice, providing industry insight and professional development - we’ve put together a few tips to get you started on seeking a mentor...

  1. You can initiate a mentoring relationship with anyone who has indicated that they are ‘willing to be a mentor’ - this will be listed on their profile - click on ‘See more’ underneath ‘Willing to help’ to check if they are happy to be contacted for mentoring.
  2. To get you started, click on 'Directory' from the menu bar across the top of the page. From here, on the right of the page, there is a section called ‘Suggested mentors for you’ outlining three mentors for you based on: Willingness to be a mentor; Same country as user; Same industry as user (for alumni to alumni mentoring); Maximum years of experience (since graduation).
  3. Find the person you wish to approach (using the above suggestions or based on your own search) and open their profile.
  4. Click on the ‘Request mentor’ button on the right hand side of the page. If this button is not visible, this person has not indicated that they are willing to be a mentor.
  5. Compose a message to introduce yourself and explain a bit about your background, why you would like some help and what kind of help you would like. It would be good to show you have done your research and that you have chosen them specifically by referring to some of the mentor’s experience from their profile and explaining why you think they may be able to help you. Keep your message polite, but brief - your initial contact should be roughly a paragraph (think 200 - 300 words as a rough guide). Click 'Send' when you are ready to submit your message.
  6. Be sure to tailor your message to the individual - avoid sending the same generic message to lots of users, as this will be obvious and will not be likely to result in a meaningful connection (much the same as when applying for jobs).
  7. Once you have established a mentoring relationship, be respectful of people’s time by checking with them how they would like to be contacted and how frequently.
  8. If you find mentoring helpful, we would love to hear about it. Contact the team to let us know so that we can thank the individual for their support and possibly share your experience so that we can encourage others to benefit in the same way.

For information on making the most of a mentor / mentee relationship, take a look at our quick guides to ‘being a mentee’ and ‘being a mentor.’

How to... post, view or reply to an update

The ‘Update’ section is a great way of posting a note to all users on the alumni network.

  1. Click on 'Updates' from the menu bar across the top of the page.
  2. Once in the section, you can view all updates that have been posted.
  3. To post an update, use the box at the top of the page - type your message (you can add an attachment or image if you’d like to by clicking on ‘Add attachment/image’ under the reply box), and click the ‘Post’ button.
  4. To respond to a specific update appearing in this section, click in the ‘Reply’ box under the update you’re keen to post to - follow the instructions above to post your response.

How to... add an event

If you have an event coming up that you’d like to promote to the alumni community, it’s easy to get started…

  1. Click on 'Events' from the menu bar across the top of the page.
  2. Click on the ‘Create an event now’ button at the top of the page.
  3. Complete all the sections with your event information - don’t forget to include the event name, location, date, time and any specific weblinks to your event.
  4. Try to avoid adding information to the Who’s invited?’ section unless your event is very specific as this will result in unnecessary notifications being sent to users.
  5. Click on the ‘Post this event’ button at the bottom of the page to make your event live.

How to... add / find a job

If you are looking for jobs or have a position available within your company that you’d like to advertise to the alumni community, it’s easy to get started…

  1. Click on 'Jobs' from the menu bar across the top of the page.
  2. Once on the page, you will see all the available jobs listed - for a quick search, you can use the ‘Find job opportunities’ box at the top of the page or choose to sort the job listings by ‘Job’ / ‘Internship’ / ‘All’.
  3. If you are keen to apply for any of the roles advertised, click on the ‘Apply’ button listed next to the job post.
  4. If you are looking to advertise a position with your company, click on the ‘Post a new job’ button underneath ‘Looking to hire’ on the top right hand side of the page. Complete all sections with the relevant information and be sure to select how you would like candidates to apply (using either an email address or a weblink) - click the ‘Post’ button at the bottom of the page to make your vacancy live on the site.

How to... join / contact a group

If you are keen to contact a specific country / subject group, there are various groups set up for you to reach out to - here’s how to make contact…

  1. Click on 'Groups' from the menu bar across the top of the page.
  2. Once on the page, you will see a list of the groups currently available - the majority of these will be country groups, but some subject groups are also included.
  3. When creating your profile, if you have added that you are based in one of the country groups listed or completed your Brunel degree in one of the subject groups shown in this ‘groups’ section, your name will be automatically added to the relevant group to enable you to start connecting.
  4. Click on your group of choice where you will be able to post an update, view events and albums and view all members in the group.
  5. If you are not appearing in a group that is specific to your profile, you would be welcome to join it by clicking on the ‘Join group’ button at the top of the page.