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NIU alumni get “linked in” in Naperville

February 13, 2012
Lindsay Pollak addresses the NIU-Naperville crowd

Lindsay Pollak addresses the NIU-Naperville crowd

Lindsay Pollak headlined the Northern Illinois University Alumni Association’s fourth annual Career Resources Networking Night in Naperville Feb. 9, drawing more than 150 attendees for the program, Leveraging Social Media in Your Job Search: Online Networking Secrets for NIU Alumni and Students.

“What an absolutely wonderful and successful event at NIU-Naperville. A mixture of NIU alumni, current MBA & MPA students, and community members walked away empowered in their career outlook and social media approach,” said Linda Alberty, assistant director of alumni relations, giving thanks to the evening’s keynote speaker as well as sponsor Verizon Wireless and two university partners–the NIU College of Business MBA Program and NIU Career Services.

A writer, speaker, and consultant specializing in next generation career and workplace advice, Lindsey Pollak is a global spokesperson for LinkedIn and has been featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, the CBS Early Show, CNN’s American Morning, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, BusinessWeek.com, Forbes.com, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications and media.

Pollak shared her social media expertise during her enjoyable and educational presentation, teaching alumni and friends how to build an impressive LinkedIn profile that gets results, grow and maximize a professional online network, use social media to find real career opportunities and avoid online networking mistakes.

Pollak’s essential information and guidance included action-oriented tips and strategies ranging from the simple to the expert, and after the event, she even signed copies of her book, Getting from College to Career: Your Essential Guide to Succeeding in the Real World.

Lindsay Pollak

Lindsay Pollak greets an attendee following her presentation

During her presentation, Pollak helped NIU alumni and friends succeed by offering a personalized action plan to get started. Additional career and interview related resources were also available, including the following breakout sessions:
Perfect Interview–NIU Career Services explained how to use an online interactive software program that engages job seekers in mock interviews. Participants learned different strategies and online resources to aid in the job search process.
Your MBA… Opening the Doors of Possibilities–The NIU MBA Program Director discussed the four world-class, AACSB-accredited MBA program formats offered to complement different lifestyles, as well as provided insight into the value of an MBA today.

“Programs like this are a key differentiator for NIU,” said NIU Career Services spokesperson Brandon Lagana. “A major reason students choose to go to college is to help them in jobs and economic security. NIU engages students starting in their freshman year and follows them all the way through as graduate students and alumni.”

Alberty said the goal of the events is to introduce alumni and friends to these key resources in an engaging way that encourages dialogue and open networking amongst attendees.

The NIU Alumni Association is grateful for the support of its sponsors and partners

“Attendees were invited to participate in a unique QR code scavenger hunt to be entered in a raffle drawing to receive a free copy of Lindsey’s book,” she continued. “Each person’s name tag contained a QR code, linking to one of several social media websites including the NIU Alumni Association, Perfect Interview, Verizon Wireless, Career Vision, Career Services, and the NIU MBA Program. It was a lot of fun.”

While the event was fun, Lagana stressed the importance of networking as well as preparing for a career while still attending NIU. He said it’s important for students to prepare throughout their college careers in order to make themselves stand out to employers.

“Students who use the NIU job and internship search system, Huskies Get Hired–utilizing Victor eRecruiting–are finding success in identifying and applying for internships and full-time jobs; and they are hearing from employers about interviews,” concluded Lagana, relating the importance of NIU’s Career Services resources to Pollak’s message.

Networking is a crucial strategy for developing relationships that can help people gain insight into an industry or a company. Between 65 and 85 percent of new jobs are found through networking, according to the Harvard Business Review. Alumni events such as this put people together, helping them make important connections—and maybe even land a job.