One thing you may often hear as a college student is the importance of networking. Connecting with those who work in fields of interest can be very beneficial to a student’s career coming out of college. However, at a large school such as the UW, finding resources on how to get started with networking can be difficult for students to navigate.

The Huskies@Work program helps facilitate the networking process by connecting current students with UW alumni across a wide variety of industries. The program is run by the UW Alumni Association, and is offered in both a fall and spring session. Participating students and alumni are asked to fill out an application on their career field, interests, and areas of study, and are then matched up for a day of job shadowing. If the student and alumni pair would like, they may continue to keep in contact after the initial session.

At the heart of Huskies@Work, it is a chance for students to connect with alumni in a career that they are interested in exploring,” Evan Carman, associate director of Alumni & Student Programs, said. “Huskies@Work can give them an insider perspective on if the career is something they would be passionate about.”

When asked about the value of networking with UW alumni in particular, Carman said, “The power of being part of the UW community is that there are alumni all over the world. Being able to learn from someone who has been in your shoes can be really impactful.”

One of the many aspects of the Huskies@Work program is that students can connect with alumni virtually, allowing them to access an international network and connect with UW alumni around the globe.

“The first value of networking is to really explore what all is out there, whether it be study or career path,” Lindsey Friessnig, senior career coach at the Foster School of Business, said. “Connecting with UW alumni is like learning to ask for directions, and you need information to make an informed decision.”

Friessnig encouraged students to utilize a variety of resources and programs, adding, “Students who are most successful in networking are those who do it often and in different spaces, clubs, and organizations.”

The Huskies@Work program has already shown tremendous benefits for the students that utilize it.

“We’ve heard from students that it provides a safe and supportive environment to ask questions and gain insider knowledge, that clarifies next steps by giving valuable insight on an industry, or how their major relates to an industry,” Carman said.

Participating alumni benefit as well by participating in a job shadowing experience that has a definitive time frame, in which they can help to launch a Husky into their possible future career paths and stay involved at the UW in a meaningful way.

The two Huskies@Work program sessions recur annually, and applications for the spring 2019 session are now open. The deadline to apply is April 14.

Reach contributing writer Indigo Bruno-Hopps at Twitter: @HoppsIndigo

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