Last week, the Office of Alumni Relations rolled out Owl Network, a professional development platform for Temple students and alumni.
The platform, which has so far attracted approximately 2,000 students and 3,500 alumni, is comparable to LinkedIn, allowing students to connect with alumni who work in fields that they might be interested in, said Tyra Ford, the director of Temple Professional Network.
The university launched the platform in March to build a base of alumni before encouraging students to join, Ford said. The office held an event at the Student Center on Oct. 23 to tell students about the program.
Students must reach out to alumni first, Ford said, and the platform allows for both text and video chat. Students can also request times to meet in-person with alumni.
Alumni can also post to a job board on the site and join and create tailored groups, like ones classified by geographic area or whether someone is a student-athlete, Ford said.
Lynne Ewell, a 1986 electrical engineering alumna, joined the platform recently because she wants to help current students in their professional development and keep graduates in the Philadelphia region, she said.
“I think it’s a great way for Temple owls to look out and help other owls out with jobs, internships and mentorship,” said Ewell, who co-founded Prism Engineering Inc., a design software provider in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Ewell, who met her husband at Temple and whose two daughters also attended, said through the platform, she wants to help students learn to not doubt their own abilities.
“Hey, you can get there, and you can do this,” Ewell said. “There’s nothing super special about those of us who have already gone out and maybe done some things you’re interested in finding in your life.”
Mike Robinson, a junior sociology major, said he will use whatever platform helps him to get a “leg up” in the job market.
“Temple prides itself on having one of the strongest alumni networks, so having that around would be really helpful,” Robinson said.
“I think that something like this is beneficial, I haven’t thought a lot about what I’m going to do after I graduate, but having a resource like this might make it less scary to think about,” said Marina Sepe, a freshman undeclared major in the Tyler School of Art and Architecture.
Chloe Camacho, a freshman criminal justice major, said she would use the platform in conjunction with LinkedIn to network.
“People that went to Temple and have graduated know what the job market is like and how to get jobs in their fields, so having something like this to better connect and talk to them I think is great,” Camacho said.