May 30, 2017

Women in Engineering Program launches social media tool for college's students, alumni, partners

The Women in Engineering Program at Purdue has rolled out a new worldwide mentoring platform that encompasses College of Engineering students, alumni and corporate partners.

“It’s our version of LinkedIn meets MentorNet and Pinterest,” says Beth Holloway, assistant dean of undergraduate education, director of WIEP, and assistant professor of mechanical engineering (by courtesy).

Called WiECoNEXTions, this social and professional tool was launched in February and enables its members to share resources, form groups, network, develop mentoring relationships, or just reconnect with fellow Boilers, says Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer, associate director of WIEP, who took the lead on getting the social platform up and running.

“WiECoNEXTions was developed for the Purdue Engineering community to take the next step in their careers,” Zurn-Birkhimer says.

Current participation is 60 percent students and 40 percent alumni and industry partners. “We have seen members post job opportunities, create groups and share resources such as local events and interviewing tips. We have alumni members from every decade since the 1970s,” Zurn-Birkhimer says.

Participants can choose to be a mentor, mentee, both or neither. “Our state-of-the-art algorithm will suggest mentoring matches,” Holloway says.

Zurn-Birkhimer adds, “Alumni are a valuable resource for students. They are able to share, firsthand, strategies for career success. WiECoNEXTions allows alumni to engage with current students or other alumni from wherever they are, at a level they are comfortable with and in the context of their professional role.”

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