Emory Report
February 2, 2009
Volume 61, Number 18



Emory Report homepage  

February 2
, 2009
Powerful e-tool forms new connections

Eric Rangus is director of communications for the Emory Alumni Association.

The Emory community has gone virtual.

This isn’t a new thing, of course. The Emory Alumni Association (EAA) and many other alumni and campus groups have had a strong presence on a variety of social networking sites — Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and many others — for some time. What is new is a recently launched online social network, exclusive to the Emory community, that connects alumni from all Emory’s schools, current students and even Emory faculty in ways that strengthen bonds both professional and social.

It’s pretty popular, too.

Emory E-Connection (www.alumni.emory.edu/econnection) launched on Dec. 15, 2008, and in the first two weeks, more than 1,500 alumni signed up. The site now boasts more than 2,100 registrants. The alumni numbers continue to grow, and the community at large will get a boost soon, once students are invited to join.
“We are excited by the immediate response to this new online network,” says Sarah Cook ’95C, senior director for EAA initiatives and technology and one of E-Connection’s charter members. “It has some great new features. For instance, users can immediately see all the fellow alumni who have worked at a specific company. Alumni and students can quickly find one another and help each other open doors. It is what alumni have been asking for, and we are excited to see it in action.”

Through E-Connection, alumni can view customized job postings from Fortune 500 companies; browse resumes or recruit Emory talent to work or intern at their company; network with alumni and students who share personal and professional interests; meet new friends and business contacts and reconnect with former classmates and professors; learn about alumni-exclusive events and much more. E-Connection opens doors to literally thousands of new Emory contacts.

Registering for E-Connection is easy. All that’s necessary is an e-mail address (it is necessary to use the address on file with the University, that’s one of the ways alumni membership is verified) and a little bit of personal information, also related to alumni verification.

More than 2,700 Emory alumni work at the University or Emory Healthcare, or serve as faculty. All they need to do is follow the above steps, and they’re in. Non-alumni staff or faculty are invited to contact the EAA’s Stacey Gall (sgall@emory.edu) who can register them for E-Connection.

“E-Connection is a powerful new tool for expanding your network in your industry or field and for being available to others — alumni and students — who share your passions and interests,” says Carolyn Bregman ’82L, the EAA’s director of alumni career services and one of the leads in the E-Connection implementation.

One of E-Connection’s aims is to connect the Emory community socially, but perhaps even more importantly, as a professional network. So many people get new jobs or switch careers with the help of personal contacts. Who better to be a personal contact than a fellow Emory alumnus?

“By reaching across class years and geography, alumni can form groups with others in their professions, get advice as they contemplate career transitions, or provide advice to students who want to follow in their footsteps,” Bregman says. “In such challenging economic times, all Emory alumni, regardless of school, can enhance a profoundly powerful network by being available to share advice, suggestions and connections with each other and with students.”