Homecoming is a great time to celebrate the University's history, returning alumni, and big football game. It can also be an incredible opportunity to take career planning to an entirely new level, just by connecting with alumni.
Here are suggestions on how you can leverage Homecoming to get you a job.
- If your chapter has a tent during tailgating, visit with as many alumni as you can. Start with the ones you've never met. Don't be intimidated; they want to meet with students. Since it's a social occasion, the conversation can be very casual. In addition to talking about the school and the old days in the chapter, talk about his or her career path, as well as your career interests.
- If your chapter hosts a banquet-style event, particularly a sit-down occasion, be sure to sit at a table with alums. Rather than sit with fellow chapter members or alums you've already met, find alumni you haven't spent time getting to know. You'll have 60-90 minutes of captive conversation time.
- Personally welcome all alums to campus, even if they're not Greek or not from your chapter. Say hello, as they walk by or when they're in line for food. Ask when they graduated and where they're working. You'll see that when you strike up the conversation, they'll likely be flowing with information.
- Carry business cards, pen, and paper. Exchange cards with alumni. Use the paper and pen to write notes about each conversation. You'll use this to followup via email, card, LinkedIn, whichever you choose.
If you treat Homecoming like Rush...but for yourself...you'll be amazed by the results. It's likely you'll end the weekend with many new contacts, invaluable insight, and a number of references. Homecoming was created as an opportunity for alumni to return to campus, reminisce, and celebrate all the activities. If properly leveraged, the weekend will reap lifelong rewards for career-minded students.