If you've ever wanted to have a chat to someone about their job - how they got it, what the interview was like, what they do every day - but wondered how on earth you are going to get in touch with an International Development Officer at Oxfam, then wonder no longer!
Working with the Alumni Relations team, we have recently launched the Bath Connection. It completely replaces, updates and expands our Graduate Contacts Database and has the added benefit of being entirely online.
Alumni Relations have been in touch with all the Bath alumni who have said that they'd be interested in helping you with your career plans and development. And so far there are over 500 Alumni Experts (and counting...) ready and willing to help you.
Molly Southwood, Alumni Relations Manager, explains:
"They are broadly spread evenly over the 4 faculties, and at last count the industries with the greatest representation were 'Banking & Finance - Financial Services,' 'Education - Higher/Further,' and 'Healthcare - Medical.' But there are about 60 industries represented over all"
The best thing about this new system is that it captures our alumni working overseas and in the UK, and also those who are British citizens and those who are international students. So whether you are an Indian student wanting to ask advice of someone who has built their career here, or a Chinese national who wants to find out more about working life in the USA, you should be able to find someone who can help you. Molly adds:
"Of the 500, 200 are based outside the UK, including the US, China, France, Malaysia, and the UAE (plus others)"
There is also the chance to ask advice of people who graduated a long while ago or just last year - perfect for those of you taking a long-term view of planning your future career paths.
So, now you know that there is this fabulous network of well-placed people just ready and waiting for you to get in touch - how do you do that and what do you ask, I hear you cry....
Well - if you are a current Bath student it is really simple - just head on over to the website at http://alumni.bath.ac.uk/NetCommunity/bath-connection/students. For Bath research staff, that link will still work for you if you graduated from Bath at any point. If you didn't, you'll need to email firstname.lastname@example.org stating that you are a member of research staff here and they will send you registration information.
As to what to ask....here's Molly Southwood again:
"We envision it being used for everything from asking about the interview process at a specific organisation to requesting a formal mentoring relationship. Students can search to see what sorts of jobs people who did their course have gone on to do, or look at the organisation or role they are interested in and ask about the path the alumnus took to get there."
To get some further ideas about questions, have a look at the Networking pages of our 'Finding a graduate job' guide which has lots of suggestions. You could also look at our recent blog post on 'How to use LinkedIn effectively'.