Are You Professionally Connected?
By Ryoji Watanabe (MSFS 2012)
Facebook has now become the primary network for MSFS students to communicate, share pictures or videos among each other, and see what classmates are up to these days.
LinkedIn, which is more focused on the professional network, however, is not fully utilized by many MSFS first year students. It seems most MSFS students have LinkedIn accounts, but most of them do not use them to connect to potential employers.
According to the LinkedIn web site, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet. The company officially launched the web site only eight years ago in 2003, but the service has grown rapidly over the past few years. As of January 2011, there are more than 90 million members in over 200 countries and territories with more than half of them residing outside of the U.S.
MSFS students participate in a LinkedIn workshop in McGhee Library
On February 17, 2011, a number of MSFS students along with other graduate students from the School of Foreign Service and the Public Policy Institute attended a workshop entitled “Using LinkedIn in Your Job Search” hosted by the SFS Graduate Career Development Center. MSFS students have the benefit of attending many workshops such as this one throughout the year.
At the session, Anne Steen, Associate Director of the SFS Graduate Career Development Center, explained how useful LinkedIn could be. It is not only used by the employers to reach potential employees, but it is also used by students to reach out to the employers. The participants of the workshop were able to learn what important information to include and effective ways to demonstrate one’s expertise in their LinkedIn profile page. Participants also learned how to build a network within the LinkedIn connections, such as participating in the discussion pages. They also learned how to use the tool to find job openings in organizations of their interest.
Some participants were amazed to know how useful LinkedIn could be for connecting with employers not only in the private sector, but also in the public sectors, including international organizations. An exception to this trend is the intelligence agencies, but LinkedIn is widely used among all other public sectors.
Amara Telleen, a first year MSFS student concentrating in International Relations and Security, who participated the workshop commented, “The workshop was helpful in finding ways to bring my LinkedIn presence to life and turn my profile into something useful for the job search. It was also really beneficial to know how to search companies and find people that I can contact in organizations I'm interested in.”