OSUConnections: The online Beaver hub


Jake Fischer, OMN Photographer

A photo illustration of students linking arms and smiling, May 8, in front of Fairbanks Hall. OSUConnections is a platform that allows students, recent grads and alumni to network and meet in a professional setting.

Ariana Gigena, Contributor

Are you a current student or alumni looking for a way to network? Look no further than OSUConnections.org.

OSUConnections is a dynamic online platform designed for Beavers to engage with each other regarding all things career development. 

Karla Rockhold, the former assistant director of career development for the College of Liberal Arts, is the new director of career programs. Her job is to oversee OSUConnections for the university and encourage students to become members. 

“It’s designed for alumni to engage with other alumni but most importantly for alumni to engage with other students,” Rockhold said. 

OSUConnections offers many opportunities for Beavers to communicate. Members can share their ideas and interests, register for events, and contact other professionals. 

“It’s for students who need to do informational interviews, want some career advice, or want someone in the field that they’re interested in to look at their resume, give them interview tips, job search strategies, and information on the company or organization that they work for,” Rockhold said. “It’s a really dynamic platform for helping students launch their careers successfully.”

The team working on OSUConnections, including Tory Cambell, Mamta Chowdhury and Karla Rockhold, is looking forward to connecting faculty members on the site for class engagement.

Rockhold suggests that “perhaps if a faculty member wants students to do an informational video for a class assignment, or they want students to do a job shadow experience — they can have their students sign up to be on the platform and then they can reach out to alumni with a specific interest or major and get class credit for it as well.” 

The team anticipates that the site will prove to be very helpful for student career development. 

When it comes to reaching out to professionals, the OSUConnections team understands that it can be nerve-wracking for students to know whether or not a professional is willing to give them their time. OSUConnections has eliminated that uncertainty with its platform functions. 

Rockhold assures that “when the alumni or student signs up on the platform they can put up a banner that says ‘Open/Willing to Help.’ Then, they can identify specifically how they want to help students whether that’s mentoring them, doing informational interviews, job shadows, helping them find internships, helping them network with other professionals in the field or giving career advice.“

Besides networking, the site offers a job posting and search function where members can type a certain employer’s name, industry, or location in the search. There are also frequently posted professional events both virtually and in person for those interested to register. For Beavers that own a business or company, there is a business directory where they can promote themselves and gain the support of others. Beavers may join a multitude of groups such as clubs or their respective colleges. 

Additionally, for those interested in travel, there is even a program in which students and alumni can find information and plan trips together. The platform has Beavers from all over the world. “Everywhere has an alum on the site, willing to help,” Rockhold said. 

Besides all the amazing benefits the site has to offer, why should a student or alumni jump at this opportunity to be an active member of this community? 

“Connections make careers. 70% of all jobs are not posted anywhere – they’re all from word of mouth,” Rockhold said. “This website will help you make those connections so you can develop a lifelong career. It’s all about who you know, not what you know. The more connected you are, the more likely you are to find positions.” 

Additionally, she explains that this is one of the most useful tools to get interviews and internships. She said that about 50% of informational interviews lead to connections that lead to jobs, and 70% of internships lead to a job offer.

What’s special about OSUConnections is that everyone on the platform shares a commonality in knowing what it is to be a Beaver. 

“Everyone on there must be vetted,” Rockhold said. “They have to show that they’re either a student or an alumni or they’re somebody who’s directly related to the university such as a donor or faculty member.” 

When someone signs up, their account will be reviewed and verified within a couple of days. They can also connect their LinkedIn, and it will implement all their information on OSUConnections to save time. 

“Once people know about it and realize how valuable the site is, they want to be a part of it,” Rockhold said. 

Many people assume that once they graduate, they’re not needed by the University, but OSUConnections stresses that it isn’t the case. Alumni’s support and contributions are greatly valued on this platform, stressing that once a Beaver, always a Beaver. 

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