The following post explores the Boston College Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship’s decision to partner with CampusTap and implement the company’s alumni mentoring and career networking platform.
Since launching in September of 2015, the Boston College Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship has incorporated a wealth of diverse, successful alumni entrepreneurs to serve as keynote speakers and mentors for students undertaking coursework, co-curricular activities such as weekly workshops, and experiential learning opportunities such as an elevator pitch competition and a six-week accelerator program.
Moving forward in 2016, Executive Director Jere Doyle and Assistant Director Kelsey Kinton have placed a heavy emphasis on formalizing mentoring in an effort to meet their goal of disrupting the notion that student entrepreneurs traditionally have a business mindset.
The Shea Center has enjoyed early success educating future entrepreneurs thanks to a passionate and generous alumni network willing to mentor students. In taking the program to the next level, Boston College turned to CampusTap to establish a mentor database that guarantees beneficial student-to-alumni mentoring relationships are being made.
According to Kinton, Boston College has a strong alumni network that was constantly flooding her inbox with requests and inquiries regarding how to get involved with mentoring, recruiting Boston College students and serving as entrepreneurial speakers.
Additionally, students continually approach Kinton seeking opportunities to connect with alumni for career advice and guidance to get their business venture off the ground.
“We really didn’t have any information to be sure we were making good matches,” Kinton said. “CampusTap has really helped us formalize the program. Alumni can sign up and designate that they’re willing to help with X,Y,Z, and list their interests and areas of expertise.”
CampusTap’s capabilities also give Kinton and the Shea Center staff peace of mind knowing all students have the opportunity to connect with a mentor if that is what they desire.
Kinton addresses the fact that there are a number of students who may not know how to best approach her to initiate a mentor relationship with an alum. Before taking advantage of CampusTap, these students were at risk for missing out on the benefits of mentorship entirely.
That’s not the case any more, as the Shea Center is able to advertise to students that a platform is available that allows them to reach out to a direct network of alumni working in industries they are interested in.
“Having a platform where this is all centralized, students know that they’re going to get a response from an alum and that alumni have already expressed interest in mentoring students,” Kinton said. “It saves time on students cold emailing or cold calling, as well as alumni reaching out to me and then waiting to hear back to match them with a specific student.”
An Easy Decision
Prior to partnering with CampusTap Kinton relied on using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with limited information to manually match students and alumni.
As Doyle and Kinton considered solutions to their need for a structured mentoring platform, they were sold on the capabilities CampusTap provided from the start.
“It was just a no-brainer that we were going to work with CampusTap,” Kinton expressed. “We knew that CampusTap was for us based on how great it was to work with the team and how thorough they were in walking us through the platform, the process and how we could implement CampusTap at BC.”
During the launch process, CampusTap has continued its thorough, transparent approach to customer success, updating the Shea Center on new developments every other week, and providing necessary information BC can share with students and alumni regarding the launch and how the platform works.
In sharing news about the CampusTap partnership with the Shea Center community, Kinton notes there is overall excitement among students, staff and alumni regarding the platform’s ease of use.
“It’s simple to build your profile and you also have the option to just link it to your LinkedIn profile so you can pull at that information directly into the platform,” Kinton said. “That’s a huge draw for getting stakeholders onboarded, because we’re constantly bombarding constituents with sign-up offers for different things. Making the process that much easier actually gets them to take action.”
Welcomed Additions to Career Planning Initiatives
While mentoring is a prominent initiative of focus to take the Edmund H. Shea Center for Entrepreneurship to the next level regarding career preparation for young entrepreneurs, CampusTap offers additional features that will contribute to success in 2016.
“Aside from connecting to students to mentors and the ability to build profiles, establish what your interests are and define your expertise, I love the job board feature,” Kinton said. “Alumni can post available internships and jobs, and students can then use this platform to take the next step in their careers.”
In addition, student and alumni groups and organizations are prominent on the Boston College campus. With CampusTap, those groups are now able to raise awareness for their events among the community and connect with alumni in order to activate them as speakers.
The Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship is guiding ambitious student entrepreneurs in their endeavors to disrupt a number of different industries, and moving forward they will be doing so in partnership with a disruptive technology in career development.
To learn more about CampusTap’s ability to help students and alumni at your institution make meaningful connections and launch successful careers through a leading career and mentoring platform, feel free to schedule a demo!
Image courtesy Boston College Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship