When there’s an important job opening in your organization, you want the hiring team to find the best candidates with the experience, skills and knowledge to be successful on the job.
Terps Helping Terps can help.
“With Terps Helping Terps, we really wanted to create an ecosystem of engaged professionals,” says Stephen Bennett, director of employment development and alumni engagement at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Working as part of a team that spanned the Office of Career Services and the Department of Alumni relations, he helped to do that.
“We built Terps Helping Terps on this basic idea that we are each other’s customers and clients,” he says. “We’re each other’s mentors. We’re each other’s sources of new ideas and information. We are each other’s go-tos. And we are out there sharing career opportunities, and we’re out there hiring each other.”
When a member of the Smith community wants to know more about what it’s like to work at an organization, they can look to Terps Helping Terps for answers, says Adam Shpall, assistant director and Part-Time MBA career consultant in Maryland Smith’s Office of Career Services. He can help them find other Terps through instruction on how to effectively use LinkedIn, Terrapins Connect and other strategies.
The idea makes good business sense. Hiring is one of the most expensive and most critical tasks an organization undertakes. Employers want every advantage in hiring the most-qualified, talented, diverse team. With Terps Helping Terps, Smith’s 66,000 alumni can become unofficial ambassadors for their organizations, and help make those important connections.
With the program, alumni can interact with current students in four major ways, says Bennett.
Inspiration: Alumni can return to campus or participate in online panels and informational interviews. They can host treks, or virtual treks, of their workplaces. They can visit a live or online classroom. “They can be there, bringing their experiences to us,” says Bennett.
Preparation: One of the most-impactful things alumni can do is spend time conducting mock interviews with students. “Imagine if you were a student and you had an opportunity with Microsoft to become a project manager. We can connect you with someone at Microsoft who is a product manager, who is an alum, and who is able to give you some tips and ideas of what to talk about,” Bennett says. “It’s huge.”
Advocate: Maryland Smith alumni become advocates. “We tell them, ‘Let us know what the hiring trends are at your company. Introduce us to the talent acquisition people, pass around resume books, refer applicants into the system,’” says Bennett. “And they do.”
Make connections: When people apply for a job online, it can feel like “throwing your resume into the wind and hoping it lands in the right place,” Bennett says. It can be tough to break through the complicated algorithms and get noticed. “But what we do know is that if you can get somebody to internally refer you, it almost guarantees that your resume will at least be looked at,” Bennett says. And that’s the first step – just getting your resume looked at.
And that’s one of the most meaningful things Terps Helping Terps can do.
“Especially in these times, when we have alumni who may even be in a position to hire people or alumni who may be in a position now where they may find themselves without a job,” Bennett says. “That’s what we want to do. That’s where Terps want to help Terps.”
To share an opportunity with Maryland Smith students, go to: Terps Helping Terps.
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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.