Clayton Connors said post-graduation can be especially tough.
He had no idea what he wanted to do the summer after he graduated.
Now, Connors works as assistant director for the regional programs for the Office of Alumni Engagement.
He said the office’s programs are a great way to personally and professionally stay involved, get connected and network after graduation.
There’s at least one UB alum in each of the 50 states, and alumni living in at least 150 different countries. 83.92% of UB alumni are living in New York, but there are still thousands living overseas and across the rest of the U.S. The Office of Alumni Engagement works to connect them all. They offer alumni resources, such as free Wednesday webinars, a career connector network, the regional alumni network and a young alumni program. Career Services remains available to alumni up to one year after graduation.
“The more graduates stay involved, the more rewarded they feel for experiences they get to take a part in,” Connors said. “The people they meet and things they do are something everyone should take advantage of, and they don’t.”
Regional alumni network
The regional alumni network is comprised of 25 domestic and 13 international regions. They host social and networking events, behind-the-scenes tours and inside looks at different alumni-owned companies monthly to connect alumni in the same area.
The domestic regions include places such as Nashville, Philadelphia, Denver and national regions includes places such as Thailand, Japan and Turkey. Each group has its own up-to-date Facebook page.
“There’s events happening across the country, so if you’re moving to basically any city with a sizable population, we probably have something happening there or at least nearby,” Connors said.
Regional leaders, the volunteers in each city, help plan, execute and make recommendations for events and venus.
“If you’re deciding to leave the area, this is a great way to connect with fellow alumni and participate in activities,” Kristen Murphy, executive director of the Office of Alumni and Engagement, said.
If someone is graduating and moving to an area where there isn’t a group, they can reach out and create one.
“Anytime someone reaches out, we’ll make it work in any of the areas where alumni are interested,” Connors said.
Career Connector Network
Many people graduate without securing their first job, so Career Connector Network does programming for young alumni, according to Murphy. They hold webinars and in-person events on everything from how to buy their first home to personal branding.
Alumni can connect with other alumni, sorted by geographical location, build their network and meet people. The platform assists alumni with job searching, networking help, resume critique, mock interviews and answering questions about getting into a specific field.
“Anyone from anywhere can connect and have conversations to help guide their careers,” Murphy said.
Young Alumni Program
There are several events throughout the year for young alumni, anyone 35 and younger. The young alumni program has an exclusive demographic, so events can be geared toward the younger crowd, according to Laura Masse, assistant director of the young alumni program.
Upcoming events for young alumni include the welcome party on May 23, UB alumni Day of Service on June 1, Night at the Bisons on June 22 and Harbor cruise on July 16.
“It’s a way to keep you connected to Buffalo and your aluma matter. It helps you initially start building your network right after you graduate,” Connors said.
Alumni can find out about upcoming events through email and social media.
Young alumni leadership
Roughly 50 young and engaged alumni connect with recent grads and current students to help guide through graduation and what comes after.
These alumni help with volunteer opportunities, staffing at events, creating programming, help on social media and advocate for alumni.
“Many members of this group value the opportunity to connect with various types of people,” Masse said. “Those connections end up meeting them on their life path to opportunities they would have never had access to if it wasn’t for the connections they made at a young alumni event.”
Brittany Gorny is an asst. news editor and can be reached at Brittany.Gorny@ubspectrum.com and on Twitter @BrittanyUBSpec