Networking Pride

Life, from one perspective, is all about giving and receiving. Rarely are giving and receiving mutually exclusive. They start at birth, and never cease. A few months into the pandemic, in July 2020, the offices of Alumni Engagement and Career and Professional Development launched The Pride, an online mentoring platform based on just that kind of exchange.

The Pride links alumni, faculty and staff with students and alumni who are navigating or preparing their career paths. For students and young alumni, the program connects them with LMU community members who have agreed to offer career advice, mentorship or opportunities in the workplace. But The Pride offers advantages across the board, from students beginning to plan their careers to the graduate starting a first job or an older alum who wants to relocate. 

Alumni, faculty and staff members may choose their availability and level of participation based on their schedule, everything from offering ongoing consultations to occasional chats over coffee or on the phone.

Participants can reach out to fellow Lions by region, profession or interest. A recent graduate planning to move across the country can tap into a local network. A professional planning a career change can find advice from others who have made the transition. Participants also can join groups defined by affinity: a group for veterans, friends of the LMU library or those devoted to philanthropy, and more. Or someone may crowd-source an important question about industry trends, or simply: “How can I learn to be a better networker?”

“It’s never too early for students to explore their career identity. All LMU students gain access to The Pride as soon as their first year at LMU,” says Branden Grimmett, associate provost for Career and Professional Development. “Speaking with alumni helps build their confidence in networking, and when alumni say yes to these requests, they are modeling what it looks like to give back to LMU.”

A recent feature of The Pride is a Projects component. An alum seeking someone with particular skills for a defined project can search The Pride for those who may be able to help. For a student, that may result in an important real-world experience, much like an internship provides.

Lisa Piumetti Farland ’87, M.Ed. ’93, executive director of Alumni and Parent Engagement, believes The Pride offers LMU alumni an opportunity. “Our alumni love engaging and supporting our students, who are seeking guidance, now more than ever,” she says. “The Pride makes it easy to connect with our students from anywhere in the world.”