Looking for more Smith Alums?

07Nov11

Every once in a while (usually in the course of my duties as 2005 Class Secretary), someone asks me about more ways to network with Smithies. Whether it’s social or professional, we’re a powerful network, and one worth using.

So here are some traditional and non-traditional ways of connecting with your fellow alums (other than this blog, of course!) and my opinions on how best to use them:

Smith Regional Clubs

The tried-and-true way of connecting with Smithies in your area. From my own experience, sometimes the clubs can feel skewed towards the older-straight-white-married-female-with-solid-finances group, but not all of them are that way. Plus, many are forming sub-groups along interest and age lines. If you don’t feel like the group’s a good fit or not any fun—then step up and take charge! Most clubs are frequently looking for new board members, so jump in.

Alumnae Association of Smith College Directory

Need someone’s address? Not sure about a last name? This is the place to go. I love that you can filter by class and house. The only drawback is, the directory’s only as good as what people put in. If folks haven’t gone in and updated their information, all that’s in there is what was on their college application! So… if someone’s address is smithcollegewannabe1985@yahoo.com, then that might be a red flag. (In related news: Make sure your own info is current!)

Smith College LinkedIn Page (Smithie-run)

This is the place to connect professionally. It has over 4,600 members and is constantly growing. (Full disclosure, I run this page.) The best uses of the site are when folks ask for professional advice or start thought-provoking discussions. The most active discussions recently involve feeling lost after graduating, most difficult interview questions, and name changes.

Smith College Alumnae Facebook Page

Great place to get alumnae news, pictures, etc. It’s like a news feed about why Smith graduates are awesome.

Smith Alum Forums (Smithie-run)

If you went to Smith in the 90s and 00s, you likely remember the Jolt, a locally run forum for students and alums that could range from superficial (“Who’s the hottest professor?”) to ranting (“My roommate is SO OBNOXIOUS!”) to downright vitriolic and hurtful. After the Jolt re-configured the site (and started deleting posts they didn’t agree with), a bunch of alums took their online forum business elsewhere. This site is completely Smithie-run, and I’m happy to say that it’s a much more grown-up place. Recent popular discussions were about pressure to get engaged, what everyone’s reading, and things that piss you off. (You didn’t think Smithie ranting would really ever disappear, did you?

Smith College Twitter

Pictures, news, and retweets from campus. If you’re full of nostalgia for your college days, this is the one to follow.

What am I missing?

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3 Responses to “Looking for more Smith Alums?”

  1. Thanks for posting this. I really, really encourage people to keep their contact information in the Alumnae Association database active. There are additional downsides to the database besides what Sarah mentioned. For reasons unbeknownst to me, I am not able to add my graduate degrees. Also, it’s not possible to add other links that would clue people into what we do professionally or personally (like links to personal websites or LinkedIn profiles.)

    Sarah does a phenomenal job of moderating the Smith alumnae LinkedIn group — kudos to her! I have had amazing conversations with alumnae of all ages.

    • Thank you so much for the kudos! It’s been incredible to see the LinkedIn site grow and expand! Glad you have found it useful! I certainly have—I credit the informational interviews that I did with alums (whom I found on the LinkedIn site) with getting my current job!


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