Bucknell Alumni Network connects students with business insiders

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Kelsey Werkheiser, Special Features Co-Editor / The Bucknellian

Juliana Rodrigues, Special Features Co-Editor

Bucknell provides students with various resources to help prepare them for post-grad success, such as the vast alumni network. Online tools like BucknellConnect, the Alumni Directory and LinkedIn can be used by students looking to contact alumni in particular career fields.

BucknellConnect allows alumni to distinguish themselves as “willing to help.” Students can then refine their searches based on career field or location to find someone who would be most helpful. The Career Center also provides students with suggested scripts to guide them through reaching out to different alumni. 

The Bucknell University LinkedIn page has an easily distinguishable section to search through alumni. The site provides filters to refine the alumni based on graduation year, location, company and more. With LinkedIn expanding the digital world of networking, alumni and students have a greater chance of connecting through their shared Bucknell experience.

With most jobs and internships acquired through networking, students in search of summer opportunities and post-grad jobs are able to utilize help provided by alumni. Many students share the common experience of having received some form of guidance from alumni. 

Finance major Georgia Shell ’23 shared the experiences she has had engaging with the alumni network.

“I am so grateful for the Bucknell connection,” Shell said. “Throughout the past three years, I have reached out to and formed meaningful relationships with numerous alumni working in what would now be my desired field as well as others. They have taken time out of their busy schedules to explain their roles and how my career goals might align with certain roles. It is from these conversations that I’ve decided where exactly I want to take my future career.” 

Shell spoke to an alum with whom she connected who ultimately became a close contact for her.

“He helped me craft questions, conducted mock interviews for me and sent study resources so I would be best prepared on interview day. I once asked him why he was so generous to give me so much of his time. His response was along the lines of ‘I had people do it for me. I’m just paying it forward.’ I truly feel that this is the mentality of all Bucknell alumni,” she said. 

Making use of the online networks, Shell shared her experience with trying to reach out to different alumni.

“Two summers ago, I had started the process of looking for a junior year internship. I got on LinkedIn one afternoon and messaged around 60 Bucknell alumni asking to set up a quick call,” she said. “I didn’t expect everyone to answer by any means. But, messages started flowing through and next thing I knew, I had hours of calls every day for the next two weeks.”

“This past summer, I was working in a role that I didn’t feel was the fit for me. I had reached out to one of the senior bankers at the same company, who happened to be a Bucknell alum, to get his advice as to what I should do. We grabbed coffee and ended up talking for an hour and a half. Almost immediately after I got back to my seat, an email popped up in my inbox to connect me with another banker.”

Later that summer, Shell saw the same banker once again, and he proceeded to check in with how things were going before setting her up to grab coffee with yet another senior banker. 

“If I had any advice for students going through the internship or job search process, it would be to reach out to as many Bucknell alumni as possible and work on growing your relationship from there,” Shell said. “These relationships are not just ones that you tap into when you need something. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. There are people who genuinely WANT to help you! The Bucknell connection is there, but it is on you to capitalize on it.”

Following her graduation in 2023, Shell will begin her role as an Investment Banking Analyst at Cain Brothers.

“Throughout my years at Bucknell, I’ve had various opportunities to get connected with Bucknell alumni,” said Molly Tuthill ’24, a member of the Bucknell University Alumni Association Board and a Bucknell Reunion Ambassador. “Through these events and interactions I’ve witnessed first hand the willingness to help Bucknell students get a step into their field of work. While interning this summer in Washington D.C. I was able to connect with many alumni in person.”

Located in DC this past summer, Tuthill spent her time interning at the National Community Action Foundation as a Policy Analyst.

“They were always willing to meet and talk about Bucknell, careers and life in general. It is always fun to talk to other Bucknellians about their time here and get advice for the future. I used my advice and Bucknell connections from my time this past summer in DC to work towards getting an internship for this upcoming summer,” she said. 

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