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The Missing Link
By: Laurel Bosshart
Online networking offers great expectations
The peewee hockey game is tied with less than two minutes in the final period. Parents of the youngsters are standing on the bleachers in the cold, damp arena cheering for their budding superstars. One of them scores the winning goal, but the hero’s father doesn’t notice. He can’t. He’s at home, hunkered down in his attic writing feverishly.
It has always been his dream to write the great American novel. But working 40 hours a week as a computer programmer has relegated his dream to evenings and weekends—which isn’t ideal for being a hockey dad.
The sacrifice will be worth it, though, once his book is published, he keeps telling himself. Or, will it? Two years later, after many more missed hockey games, the book is finished, but no publishers have responded to his letters, e-mails, phone calls, and door knocking.
He doesn’t know where to turn next. During one of his routine checks of email, as he prays for a response, nothing is there except an e-mail from his alma mater. He clicks on it in frustration.
The subject reads: LinkedIn for Carnegie Mellon Alumni
He reads on.Carnegie Mellon Alumni,
The Office of Alumni Relations is pleased to invite all Carnegie Mellon graduates to join the new Carnegie Mellon Alumni group on LinkedIn, the online professional networking tool that helps you find inside connections to jobs, industry experts, and business partners. LinkedIn is an online network of more than 7.5 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 130 industries.
Alumni and select other members of the Carnegie Mellon community (including students, faculty, and staff) register directly with LinkedIn and then have access to the Carnegie Mellon Alumni LinkedIn group. Through the Carnegie Mellon Alumni group you can:
He needs to read no further. Clicking on the LinkedIn Web site, www.LinkedIn.com, he joins thousands of others in the free members-only Carnegie Mellon group.
His networking begins. First, he completes a profile that summarizes his professional accomplishments. From there, he has numerous options. Once he identifies a person in the network he knows, he can establish a “connection.” That person may have a “connection” with another “connection” who happens to be a publisher. The aspiring novelist can also do a keyword search using terms such as publishing, literary agent, or entertainment. Another option is to search by company, location, member name, or member title. For whatever networking leads he finds, he has an automatic in. They both have ties to Carnegie Mellon.(Continued …)