The University itself would stand to benefit from efforts strengthening access to its alumni network. Cornell graduates offering helpful guidance to current students will improve the ability of Cornell graduates to find jobs or other post-graduate study opportunities.
“You look at the floor, and it looks diverse. But there’s really no interaction with diverse team members — [they] aren’t going to lunch together, they aren’t collaborating together, they are not called on in team meetings …They’re kind of isolated.”
Five months after my Cornell interview and three months after committing to my Big Red acceptance, I attended a local meet-and-greet for the incoming class. Hosted at an alum’s home and intended to be a mixer between incoming freshmen, current students and alumni, it was meant to be a laid-back social. But in the immediate aftermath of the crapshoot that are college applications, such socials are anything but laid back. Allow me to offer a snapshot of what I mean. After parking a block away from the event’s address, I walked down the street and arrived at the front door, only to run into a line of fellow Cornellians waiting to enter.
About two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference as a Class of 2021 Class Councils representative, alongside around 100 other current Cornell student leaders. Generations of alumni also came to the event to engage in networking and small group discussions with students. I was also present for Paul Blanchard’s ’52 acceptance speech for the William “Bill” Vanneman ’31 Outstanding Class Leader Award. When Blanchard referred to the Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige as a “Negro” and said “now they call them Blacks,” my jaw dropped, followed by stifled laughter. This was the same reaction I had to his earlier comment about surveying female students on the Arts Quad.
Without question, every Internet user has felt the frustration that arises when searching among thousands of websites for specific information. Online social bookmarking, which looks to ameliorate this fact-finding process, has now decided to venture into the field of higher education.
While customary online bookmarking is the process of saving to your computer addresses of websites one would like to revisit in the future, social bookmarking allows one to save the links to web pages on a social bookmarking website. The website then organizes the links chronologically and places them under specific categories with tags that describe it. In addition, the bookmarks can either be open to the public, shared with groups of the user’s choice or saved for the user’s personal viewing.
No matter how confident graduates might be about their future job prospects, in the turbulent atmosphere of today’s economy the outlook is grim. Now more than ever, graduates are relying heavily on their abilities to network with alumni who are often willing to advocate for, and even employ, former Cornell students.
Julia Levy ’05 is the chair of the Young Alumni Committee in New York — a program to better accommodate recent Cornell grads in a developing job market. Originally from Atlanta, Levy moved to New York City after graduating from Cornell and began searching for resources through which she could contact alumni. After attending an organizational meeting for the YAC, she decided to join.