By: Judah Stiefel  | 

Illuminate Your Networking with YU ALUMinate

In this fast paced sink or swim society, it’s easy to find oneself treading in place. Decisions may be unclear. Job opportunities may be scarce. Finding the right contacts to help you navigate the waters, even for the brightest students, may prove a difficult task. Thankfully, there is a solution. YU ALUMinate is a professional networking platform available exclusively to YU graduates. The website provides valuable resources to YU students who’ve finished college and have joined the graduate school and professional communities.

YU ALUMinate provides undergraduate alumni with an exclusive and unique networking recourse, assisting former students to connect with other alumni in a wide range of fields. The platform is a huge privilege afforded to any YU student who has graduated Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, or Sy Syms School of Business. Said Rachel Lebwohl (Marketing Associate, Alumni Affairs), “YU ALUMinate is a powerful tool that we can offer our alumni as a benefit of graduating from Yeshiva University. The ability to connect with seasoned professionals on a private and secure platform within the trusted YU alumni network is novel and exceedingly valuable.”

The well-structured, vibrant website allows students to create a profile in which you can share professional and personal information with fellow alums. It’s a safe space for alumni to come to seek anything from professional advice, to job opportunities, to connections in the plethora of fields in which YU alumni are involved.

As Suzy Schwartz, assistant vice president for alumni affairs and strategic development, was quoted saying in YU News, “ALUMinate is a wonderful demonstration that membership in the YU alumni family has its privileges.  We have finally created a tangible way for our powerful alumni network to leverage the benefits that come from sharing their knowledge and expertise.”

The site is taken very seriously and gives alumni the special feeling of belonging to an exclusive community. There is a brief vetting process one must go through to sign up, and graduating seniors will be eligible upon successfully receiving their diploma.

There are currently over 800 alumni on the site, and growing daily, in professional fields ranging  from graphic design, to banking, to social work, to rabbinate, to much more. The community also ranges in age from alumni in their seventies and eighties with vast experience to newly graduated students with exciting potential. The site allows you to engage in dialogue with alumni who share your field, but also network with professionals in other fields. It also provides opportunities to participate in community wide discussions, post job opportunities, and access a newsletter to existing users and professional networking events.

Dina Burcat (Director of Alumni Affairs) explained, “Being a member of YU ALUMinate is one of the most beneficial ways that we can leverage the diversity of the YU alumni community and connect our graduates with professionals and mentors in their career fields who want to and are willing to help other alumni because they share the common bond of a YU education.”

To see examples of the site at its finest, look no further than Joel Strauss (YC ’86 Cardozo ’92) and Mouchka Darmon Heller (SCW ’11). As described on the YU News website, “Heller, who is currently Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in New York, posted on ALUMinate that she was organizing an event for engineers, architects and real estate owners/managers/developers.  Strauss responded to her pitch, and after several rounds of private messaging, they began discussing internships for YU and Cardozo students, an area of strong interest for Strauss.”

The site observes, “The upshot of their conversation is the likelihood of several summer internship opportunities with the consulate as well as a possible international trade legal internship program for a Cardozo student.  This “will hopefully result in beneficial business connections,” said Strauss. Heller sees ALUMinate as “a wonderful opportunity for connection and growth.”

The site has had major growth since it was first rolled out in the past few months. As students continue to graduate and join the site, the networking potential will grow, providing more and more diverse avenues for entrepreneurial and highly achieving alumni to strive for success.