In this article we consider how engaging with alumni can develop students’ pre-professional identity and encourage undergraduates’ use of LinkedIn. In addressing why this is an important aspect of the employability agenda, we reflect on recent research on pre-professional identity. We then report on a small-scale research project (funded by a scholarship awarded by the University of Brighton’s Centre for Learning & Teaching) where participants were supported in developing their identity by connecting with alumni from their course. LinkedIn was chosen as a form of social media most appropriate for career exploration and investigating the graduate attributes demanded by employers. We demonstrate how sharing alumni profiles with participants helped ease their reluctance to use the site. We conclude by examining changes in participants’ attitudes towards using this form of social media as a career tool, and outline how for some this led to positive outcomes, including offers of work and creating new networks.
|Title of host publication||Navigating with practical wisdom|
|Subtitle of host publication||Articles from the Learning and Teaching Conference 2018|
|Place of Publication||Brighton|
|Publisher||University of Brighton Press|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
Fowlie, J., & Forder, C. (2019). Developing pre-professional identity by engaging with alumni and using LinkedIn. In Navigating with practical wisdom: Articles from the Learning and Teaching Conference 2018 (pp. 53-62). Brighton: University of Brighton Press.