The Top Four Things Drew Students Can Do to Build Connections

Number 1: Join Drew Connect!

Drew Connect is an online Drew-only community designed with you specifically in mind: a learning space where you can practice reaching out to people and networking; and a place to start building relationships with alums that might evolve into opportunities or even more network connections down the road.  It’s a networking platform, career exploration platform, career access platform, place to seek advice and answers to questions, and so much more!

Sign-up is easy, exploring the community is easy, and reaching out to alums couldn’t be easier because there are built in templates for you to edit and use so you don’t have to stress about what to say. (Side benefit: there’s also a jobs and opportunities board on Drew Connect!)

Here’s just a snapshot of some of the amazing alums you’ll see on Drew Connect:

All of these alums, and so many more, are there for you!

Questions about Drew Connect? Contact us at mentoring@drew.edu.

Number 2: Join Handshake!

Our colleagues in the Center for Career Development (CCD) are also available to help you propel you into life after Drew. Learn more here, and join Handshake, the online career management system for Drew students–the platform where you can search and apply for internships and jobs; access employer information, on-campus events and fairs, and current postings related to your career interests; and schedule an appointment with a career counselor.

Number 3: Attend events!

Connection opportunities are everywhere, whether it’s a talk, a panel discussion, an event designed specifically for networking, or an athletics game/match, an a capella concert, or any of the other myriad of opportunities that bring people to campus.

Number 4: Let us help you--connect with us!
  • The Center for Mentoring is ready and willing to help you or your student organizaton identify alums for programs. We also offer workshops to help you hone skills in developing your external social capital/networks. See Student Organizations page for more information. You can also reach out directly to us for more personal advice from the Director or one of your peers who has been trained to help you. Just email mentoring@drew.edu or stop by Sycamore Cottage to schedule time to meet.
  • Our colleagues in the Center for Career Development can help you explore careers, give you advice on researching and applying to internship and job opportunities, guide you in resume and LinkedIn profile development, boost your interviewing skills, help you apply to grad school, and much more. Schedule time with one of the staff on Handshake or stop by Sycamore Cottage!
  • Drew’s faculty and staff are all here for you, so don’t forget to turn to your advisor, or DSem professor, club advisor, and others to help you connect what you’re learning to where you want to go. We’re all here to advise, inspire, and challenge you!

Connection Before Content Workshops:

The Art of Building a Web of Connections

The Center’s regular “Connection Before Content” workshops will help students develop an understanding of the value of building network connections to expand social capital, which is so critical for post-college success, even for students undecided about their path. Students will learn to identify existing “mentors”/network connections, recruit and maintain mentors/connections, and network in a professional setting.

Fall 2023 Scheduled Workshops

All workshops take place in The Space, Ehinger Center, from 7-8 pm

  • Wednesday, September 20, 2023:   Connect Now for Future Success: Why Every Student Should Have Several Mentors/Connections, Even If Undecided About A Career Path
    • This session is designed for sophomores, juniors, seniors, and Caspersen grad students; first years are welcome.
  • Wednesday, October 4, 2023:  You’re Here. Now What? Connections for Your Dream:  Starting to Building and Expanding Your Network of Connections in Your First Year of College
  • Wednesday, October 18, 2023:  First Steps: Drew Connect and LinkedIn – Using Tech Tools to Expand Your Network
  • Wednesday, October 25, 2023:  Building Your Web of Connections
  • Wednesday, November 1, 2023:  Preparation for the Drew Community Networking Reception
    • The networking reception will take place on Wednesday, November 15 in the Ehinger Center, 1867 Lounge and The Space, 7-9 pm

Programs for Student Clubs/Organizations

The Center is committed to working collaboratively with student clubs and organizations to help all students develop and hone networking skills and support access to alum and other “experts” in areas of interest. Following is a description of some of the Center’s offerings, but please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about other potential opportunities!

How the Center for Mentoring Can Work with Student Clubs/Organizations

On Demand Workshop Offerings

The Center can offer workshops to support students’ development of external social capital (networks). Following are two examples, but we are also open to additonal suggestions. Please request our workshops with at least one week’s notice to determine a mutually agreeable time.  Contact the Center at mentoring@drew.edu.

  • Drew Connect Basics: a 30 minute workshop on what purpose Drew Connect serves, the sign-up process, search tools for finding mentors (primarily alums) within the platform, and tips for outreach. This workshop will also include a discussion of using Drew Connect in conjunction with LinkedIn and why neither should be the exclusive tool.
  • Advanced Drew Connect Skills: a 30-45 minute deep-dive into the various tools available on the platform, including Career Path exploration, Jobs, Groups, and more.
  • Best Practices for Networking/Reaching out to a Potential Mentor: Networking doesn’t have to be intimidating. In this workshop, the Center for Mentoring will offer easy tips for striking up a conversation in a professional networking setting, whether at an event or one-to-one, in person or virtual. The workshop (including its length) can be tailored  (e.g., the workshop might be 15 minutes or could be as long as 45 minutes if you are looking for a more in-depth discussion and practice-time). This workshop will also include a discussion of how to turn what started as a casual conversation about common interests into a more professional conversation around career opportunities.
Opportunities to Practice Networking and Speaking Skills with Alums

The Center can set up the following opportunities for your class. (Both will be part of standard Center for Mentoring programming, in collaboration with the Center for Career Development and other campus partners).

  • Informational/Mock Interviews: Alums offer information about their industry and/or feedback on interviewing skills
  • Elevator Pitch Preparation: Students connect with an alum in their field of interest to develop and deliver an elevator pitch. Students will meet once with an alum to discuss general content and a second time to deliver a pitch and gather constructive feedback. Students and alums may choose to continue the conversation after the second contact as they wish.
    • Each of the above programs will be managed through the Drew Connect platform following an in-person preparation session for students with the director of the Center for Mentoring and colleagues from other departments.
Identification of Alums:

Looking to put together a social gathering with alums with like interests or planning a special program where alum input would be helpful? Contact the Director of the Center for Mentoring at least four (4) weeks in advance for assistance in identifying diverse and engaging participants. We’ll even provide swag and offer some food and beverage support! Please note: the greater advance notice you can provide, the more likely we will be able to help your organization identify the most appropriate alum participants.