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Does alumni connection help?

August 14th, 2018, 12:01 pm

Daniel_Chae
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Hi,

Does your alumni connection ever help with your job placement or career?

I'm looking into grad schools in EU but I keep hearing schools in US will provide better connections if i'm going to live in US.

I'm sure wherever I go, if my portfolio is good enough, it won't be hard to get a job at top companies but just wondering if the location/alumni

connection help in design field like other fields.

Thanks,

Re: Does alumni connection help?

August 14th, 2018, 1:01 pm

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FH13
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Yes. That's where your networking starts. Some places are known for only hiring from "x" or "y" school.
But rather than looking at the possible "alumni network" I would focus on the school that you feel will give you the best education and help you have a kick ass portfolio at the end.

Good luck.

Re: Does alumni connection help?

August 14th, 2018, 1:53 pm

sonofscrotum
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That's going to vary depending on many factors; some schools have good alumni networks, others don't.

Re: Does alumni connection help?

August 14th, 2018, 2:28 pm

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Yes, and I find it helps years down the road as well.

Re: Does alumni connection help?

August 14th, 2018, 5:58 pm

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slippyfish
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It can help, or it could hurt. Its nice to be nice (to your cohort of fellow students)!
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Re: Does alumni connection help?

August 15th, 2018, 1:56 pm

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Cyberdemon
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I got my first job (where I stayed for 9 years) from a professors connection, and hired 2 students from my program down the road as interns/jr designers. So yes it can help especially if it's a strong program.

Re: Does alumni connection help?

August 15th, 2018, 3:21 pm

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I hired a former classmate years back when I was at Converse and several classmates have hired me to do work for them since I started the studio. An old professor hired us when I was at frog and I've since recommended him for a job. I think there is just a certain level of shared experience there that can make it easy to work together or at least establish a comfort level.

I think when looking for the solution to any problem, it helps to begin with the dissed goal in mind. If you goal is to work in the Bay Area for example, why not go to school there?

Re: Does alumni connection help?

August 15th, 2018, 3:48 pm

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I will be attending grad school in Seattle, and plan on living here for a long time. (Kids aren't scheduled to be out of the house for about 15 years, so...) And that was a major factor in deciding on a school.

Although the biggest companies seem to disregard a candidate's location, and even smaller companies can help with relocation costs, as both a candidate and a hiring manager I can say local candidates tend to get the first look and extra 'points', all things being equal.
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Re: Does alumni connection help?

August 15th, 2018, 5:40 pm

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FH13
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It's also nice to drop by every year to check out the Junior and Senior classes portfolio night. Beats putting an ad and getting hundreds of applications. Alumni will often check out portfolio nights to scope out new interns and future jr employees.

Re: Does alumni connection help?

August 15th, 2018, 6:22 pm

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Definitely. I've gone intern shopping and jr designer shopping that way. We didn't have one of those when I was in school, but they seem like the norm these days. I think it is really smart.

Re: Does alumni connection help?

August 17th, 2018, 11:37 am

smyoung
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I found it to be helpful. Landed first FT job through a classmate, and second gig through a friend of a friend (no school connection there, just through meeting the right people at right time willing to connect the dots). Once at an interview, I realized many folks in the studio attended same school and it helped me to break the ice by asking which professor they had, which studio they enjoyed the most.

Re: Does alumni connection help?

August 17th, 2018, 12:29 pm

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First job: guy who went to my school and graduated 3 years earlier had his own small firm. Interned and then FT with him.
Second job: people who knew the first job guy - one block over (summer st to congress ave)
Third job: client of the first job guy
Fourth job: total cold-call, right place right time, no references checked, great place I worked for five years
Fifth job: recommended by a different guy who was in the same class as the first job guy.

So basically - I'd be nowhere without the alumni connection.
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