Recently, I was on a trip to Washington, D.C., with a packed schedule in front of me and short windows of time in which to get from point a to point b between meetings. I made the most of a cold day, feverishly walking past the U.S. Capitol building to my lunch appointment. What was about to happen was unexpected and one of the more exciting aspects of my role in Harrisburg Academy’s Development and Alumni Relations Office.
During a wonderful lunch with an alumnus who is both a high-achieving professional and a mentor I both respect and admire, our conversation shifted to talking about other alumni in the Washington, D.C. area. Earlier that day, I had had breakfast with a young alumnus who graduated a year after me and is a friend of mine. We had lost touch over the years, so it was great to meet with him for breakfast and catch up. He shared his impressive story about his education and professional journey after graduating from Harrisburg Academy; however this alumnus had been out of work for the last two months. He was not panicking, but was definitely getting restless.
I enjoy conversations about career exploration, and this is where our conversation then went. I shared a long list of alumni in the D.C. area with whom I could introduce him for networking purposes. I explained that I was actually having lunch later that day with an alumnus who might be perfect for him to meet. To close out our breakfast, I told him that I would ask at lunch if I could put the two of them in touch with each other.
Back at lunch, when our conversation, too, shifted towards other Academy alumni in the D.C. area, I took the opportunity to mention the young alumnus from earlier in the day. To my surprise, after I detailed all that I could about the young alumnus’ work history and education credentials, I was cut-off — and instructed to get the two of them in touch right away! The alumnus I met for lunch was personally hiring for positions on his team that would be a good match for the younger alumnus. A huge amount of gratitude ran through me, probably because I find value in helping others in this way, but also because I’ve been noticing this trend lately in our greater alumni community.
More and more, alumni are becoming re-engaged with the Academy’s Alumni Relations Office in exactly the manner that four years ago I had hoped they would — professional networking.
After leaving lunch, I immediately called the young alumnus to share the news. We both laughed because I had just found him a legitimate job opportunity in a shorter time than the professional head-hunter he had hired to help with his job search!
I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to help someone within our Academy community and to make these types of connections. The two alumni have since been in touch and from what I hear, it sounds like all is moving in the right direction to be beneficial for both parties.
So I leave you with this — Harrisburg Academy’s network works because of you. When you reach out to us, we are able to serve as the conduit, connecting you to each other in a multitude of ways and for a variety of purposes. It’s all about the network!
Learn more about Harrisburg Academy on our school website.