76°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Is BEACONconnect UMass Boston’s new LinkedIn?

BEACONconnect is the newest platform launched by the University of Massachusetts that provides students and professionals an opportunity to connect with alumni. The new platform is akin to LinkedIn, where students can post, look for job and internship opportunities, and connect and talk with alumni.
BEACONconnect has compelling features like mentoring options, a job board, a business directory, other resources, and more. The Business Directory highlights all the companies and organizations that are actively hiring. Similarly, the event board highlights all the forthcoming events, including career expos, alumni panels, faculty lectures and webinar series.
The group option on the platform allows students to join particular groups that interest them. For instance, the groups of College of Liberal Arts, Academic and Career Engagement and Success Center, et cetera, can pull students from various fields of interest. In addition, different groups allow students to connect with professionals and alumni from a particular area.
Heather Brigham, the director of college engagement at University Advancement and Alumni Engagement, answered questions about the BEACONconnect through email. When asked about the ideation of creating a platform like this, Brigham said that alumni are always looking for ways to engage with the university by volunteering, giving guest lectures or through career events. In 2020, the Office of Alumni Engagement and College of Management developed a mentoring program for selected students and alumni. This program taught students essential aspects of interviews, career preparation and leadership qualities. Overall, students had a great experience with this mentoring program. Following this program, staff in Alumni Engagement began exploring platforms with the Academic and Career Engagement and Success Center to construct a platform like BEACONconnect.
“BEACONconnect gives students and alumni a way to connect with each other casually online as well as join a longer-term program with mentoring milestones and goals. The platform also offers other features such as a job board, events, groups and a business directory,” Brigham said.
Brigham also explained the role of alumni by stating that they can register for the platform and have the opportunity to help present students in numerous ways. They can help with tasks like mock interviews, resumes and cover letters. Simultaneously, alums can use BEACONconnect to their benefit by expanding their business, connecting with their classmates and staying connected with the UMass Boston community.
The outreach of this platform is executed in multiple ways. First, a mass email was sent to the student body informing them about the launch of the new platform and the registration process. Apart from that, staff members from Alumni Engagement tabled during the Spring Welcome Week and are also available at Campus Center to answer general queries about the platform.
“With over 110,000 alumni worldwide, this platform enables our alumni to help students no matter their location and connect with fellow Beacons online and in their area as well. Having a strong and welcoming alumni community is one of the great benefits of college. Once a Beacon, always a Beacon,” Brigham commented.
Mohamad ElDamaty is a student ambassador for BEACONconnect. ElDamaty made a brief comment about his role as an ambassador through email. He said that his job is to promote the platform, support its growth and show students how beneficial BEACONconnect can be.
“I, for one, have used it as a tool to establish meaningful connections with alumni who have all responded positively. The platform really is a wonderful asset for students searching for internships, jobs, or volunteer opportunities,” said ElDamaty.

About the Contributor
Kaushar Barejiya, News Editor