Developing pre-professional identity by engaging with alumni and using LinkedIn

Julie Fowlie, Clare Forder

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNavigating with practical wisdom
    Subtitle of host publicationArticles from the Learning and Teaching Conference 2018
    Place of PublicationBrighton
    PublisherUniversity of Brighton Press
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)9781910172216
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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