Effective networking is all about building trust, sharing information, and creating a positive foundation for future interactions. Networking can happen anywhere and is often most constructive when you least expect it - meeting the parents of a friend, making a new acquaintance at a wedding, talking to a seatmate while travelling, etc.  These are all opportunities to grow your network of professional relationships. Below, we've included information and tools to help you make the most of in-person interactions and connect with alumni.

Starting a Conversation
To begin, ask a question about the person or the general situation. If you're trying to engage in an already-happening conversation, ask, "May I join you?"

Listen
Pay attention to people as they talk about their life, work, volunteer activities, and current events. Often you can pick up clues about what they value and enjoy. If you notice a key word, find a way to bring that topic back into the conversation.

Refrain from only talking about yourself; ask open-ended questions and engage actively with the answers. 

Know Yourself and Your Goal
Be able to articulate what you are looking for and how others may help you. Specific questions about career field or how to break into a particular company, find professional contacts, or develop job/internship leads will be more effective than general ones.

Ending a Conversation
To exit gracefully, say, "Thank you for your insights/thoughts/direction. I need to move on to another conversation." Then offer to shake hands and ask for a business card. If they don't have a card, ask if you can contact them on LinkedIn or have them write down their name and email.

Follow-up
A pile of business cards and a list of contact names do not do you or your job search much good without active follow-up. Call, send an email or connect on LinkedIn after meeting someone new. In your message, remind your new contact where and how you met them and part of what you discussed. 

More Information
Find more tips in this helpful guide: Making and Using Your Network.

LinkedIn, a powerful networking tool, allows you to browse the paths of other professionals, message your connections, research organizations and job/internship postings, keep current on industry news, and increase your personal visibility. According to a 2013 Social Times article on virtual recruiting, over 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find and vet candidates for open positions. 

LinkedIn also provides Student Resources, a series of documents and videos that can help you develop and maintain a strong profile. Check out the Whitman College University Page to peruse the profiles of Whitman alumni/students and join the Whitman College Discussion Groups for more information about industries and careers that interest you.  

Whitman Connect is Whitman's own database of more than 16,000 alumni searchable by location, job title, occupation, major, Greek affiliation, campus groups, and more. Through Whitman Connect, students can research and email alumni who have agreed to be a resource for information about their career path. To access the database, students must first read and agree to the Whitman Connect Code of Conduct.

Whitman Hubs by Location

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The Whitman Professional Hub program seeks to connect Whitman students and alumni with internships, employers, and networking events. There are currently six established Whitman Hubs across the country.

Questions and comments related to the Professional Hubs can be directed to our Director for Business Engagement, Kimberly Rolfe, at rolfekb@whitman.edu.

We are working to build greater opportunity for Whitman students and alumni to explore careers and gain experience in the greater Portland area. Check out our blog for upcoming events in the Portland Hub and other cities!

 Find Whitties in Portland:            Search the Alumni Database:                Discuss Careers:                     

  LinkedIn              Whitman_Connect_Logo          Whitman College Community

Resources

  • Use the Whitman Connect Alumni Database to find more alumni in the Portland area.
  • Portland's Craigslist is always a great site for finding housing, jobs, and local information.
  • Snag A Job lists job opportunities for part-time jobs, teen jobs, student jobs and summer jobs with great companies throughout Oregon, primarily in the Portland area.
  • Campus Point is geared towards helping recent graduates find a job by updating job opportunities and employer information in the Portland area.
  • Employment Department: Oregon.gov provides information about the job market, unemployment, career fairs, etc. and works to connect jobseekers with employers in Oregon

Housing

Healthcare and Outdoor Activities

Transportation

Farmer's Market

Do you know of more resources that could help Whitman students and alumni? Let us know at sec_info@whitman.edu!

Connect!

We are working to build greater opportunity for Whitman students and alumni to explore careers and gain experience in the greater Seattle area. Check out our blog for upcoming events in the Seattle Hub and other cities!

 Find Whitties in Seattle:            Search the Alumni Database:                Discuss Careers:                     

  LinkedIn            Whitman_Connect_Logo          Whitman College Community  

Resources

  • Use the Whitman Connect Alumni Database to find more alumni in the Seattle/Bellevue area.
  • Seattle's Craigslist is always a great site for finding housing, employment, and local information.
  • The Seattle Networking Guide connects people and companies to Seattle's most vibrant organizations for professional and social networking, civic engagement, volunteering, and strategic community relations.
  • NW Jobs provides job listings and resources for folks looking for employment in the Seattle area.
  • Campus Point still updates job and employer information focusing on helping recent graduates to find a job.
  • Work Source is the State of Washington's official site for online employment services. Through its resources you can find a job, get job search help, locate workforce services in your area, access career information and more.

Housing

Healthcare and Outdoor Activities

Transportation

Farmer's Market

Do you know of more resources that could help Whitman students and alumni? Let us know at sec_info@whitman.edu!

Connect!

We are working to build greater opportunity for Whitman students and alumni to explore careers and gain experience in the greater San Francisco area. Check out our blog for upcoming events in the Bay Area Hub and other cities!

 Find Whitties in the Bay Area:             Search the Alumni Database:                    Discuss Careers:                     

       LinkedIn               Whitman_Connect_Logo           Whitman College Community

Resources

  • Use the Whitman Connect Alumni Database to find more alumni in the Bay area.
  • The Bay Area Craigslist is always a great site for finding housing, jobs, and local information.
  • CalJobs provides an online job and resume bank for the largest pool of candidates in the state of California. It also provides online job tools, information on insurance, payroll taxes, employment and training services, and more.

Housing

Healthcare and Outdoor Activities

Transportation

Farmer's Market

Do you know of more resources that could help Whitman students and alumni? Let us know at sec_info@whitman.edu!

Connect!

We are working to build greater opportunity for Whitman students and alumni to explore careers and gain experience in the greater Washington D.C. area. Check out our blog for upcoming events in the D.C. Hub and other cities!

 Find Whitties in D.C.:            Search the Alumni Database:                Discuss Careers:                     

  LinkedIn            Whitman_Connect_Logo          Whitman College Community

Resources

  • Use the Whitman Connect Alumni Database to find more alumni in the D.C. area.
  • D.C.'s Craigslist is always a great site for finding housing, employment, and local information.
  • Washington Post Jobs provides how-to advice regarding resumes, interviews, and salary negotiations. It also offers a job search tool with regionally specific options, networking groups, and information about career fairs.
  • DC Jobs is comprised of a variety of employment websites focusing exclusively on local communities in the DC area.

Housing

Health

Transportation

Farmers Market

Do you know of more resources that could help Whitman students and alumni? Let us know at sec_info@whitman.edu!

Connect!

We are working to build greater opportunity for Whitman students and alumni to explore careers and gain experience in the New York City area. Check out our blog for upcoming events in the New York Hub and other cities!

 Find Whitties in New York          Search the Alumni Database:                Discuss Careers:                     

  LinkedIn            Whitman_Connect_Logo          Whitman College Community

Resources

Housing

Do you know of more resources that could help Whitman students and alumni? Let us know at sec_info@whitman.edu!

Connect!

We are working to build greater opportunity for Whitman students and alumni to explore careers and gain experience in the greater Walla Walla area. Check out our blog for upcoming events in the Walla Walla Hub and other cities!

 Find Whitties in Walla Walla:            Search the Alumni Database:                   Discuss Careers:                     

  LinkedIn                  Whitman_Connect_Logo            Whitman College Community

Resources

Do you know of more resources that could help Whitman students and alumni? Let us know at sec_info@whitman.edu!