Information for students
How to get the most out of Alumni Connect.
How does Alumni Connect work for students?
After logging in, the set up process guides you through a few short steps.
You confirm your user type (student) and your education details. Don't worry if your majors are still to be decided - just enter your best guess.
At the next screen, add a profile photo and a headline. If nothing springs to mind you can just add 'Student at University of Auckland' and update it when inspiration hits.
You then complete a short matching quiz as part of the sign-up process and Alumni Connect suggests alumni for you to connect with based on the criteria you’ve set.
- Message your recommended alumni mentor to get things started
- Click the 'next' arrow to browse other recommended connections
Sending a message
The Alumni Connect message builder will offer tips on creating the right message as you type it. Once you're happy with what you've composed, click 'send' to continue.
Important tip - make sure you customise the message! It's worth spending time to ensure you have the correct name of the person you're contacting, and that your message is error free. Ideally, you should make the message relevant to the person who'll receive it, mentioning a couple of points why you think they'd make a good connection for you.
What happens after I’ve made a connection?
Mentors will review your request and either accept or decline the connection. If they feel they’re able to help, they’ll either communicate via email or agree to a video chat.
Preparing for a video call
Before that first virtual meeting, think about what you want to learn from the mentor. It doesn't hurt if you write down your questions in advance! You may not get through all of them, but that way you'll have something to get the conversation started.
Peer Tip: “I’d ask ’Hey, what’s a day like in your shoes? What’s a week like?’ They provided so many insights that you would never get from a book or a website — stuff you don’t get except from a real human being. Really I felt spoiled by it; it’s been so much good stuff.”
Research your mentor
Do your research ahead of time and you'll be able to make your questions specific and meaningful. You'll also find it easier to establish a connection with the mentor if you know what they're interested in or have worked on.
Peer Tip: “Find out anything you can about the person, anything they put out there that’s public facing. I think it’s a shortcut to a level of openness and intimacy and fun that you can have in your conversations with that person. If you already know that they’re passionate about - say, animal welfare - you immediately have some sort of connection. You immediately have some things to talk about.”
Do the legwork
Your mentor is already taking time to share their knowledge and expertise - don't make them do the legwork of scheduling and organising as well! If you can make life easier for them by using their preferred method of communication or letting them choose the meeting place (if you're meeting in person), do it!
Shouldn’t I just be making connections on an established network like LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is an important tool when looking for a new job or networking - in fact, critiquing your LinkedIn CV is one of the help topics you can request from our mentors. But LinkedIn is very different to Alumni Connect. With Alumni Connect, you can confidently approach members of the alumni community and ask them to share their insights, without worrying about how the request will be received. This is because all our mentors have signed up to the platform to share their experience and expertise with other alumni. They want you to get in touch.