Classroom to Careers: Welcome to LAS Connect! – How can this new resource help you network?

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How can this new resource help you network? – Kerrigan’s LAS Connect Experience  

Building connections isn’t always easy, especially with the current state of the world, but it isn’t impossible. With time, effort, and, some help from LAS connect, I was able to expand my network within a few short days.  

I wasn’t sure what to expect as I logged into LAS Connect for the first time. I wrote my first post about myself and current career aspirations than didn’t think much of it after that until I got a notification, “Matthew has commented on your post.”  

 Initial Interaction 

Matt explained to me that he just recently graduated with his Masters in Public Health in Biostatistics and Epidemiology and he was willing to chat if I ever wanted to. Not knowing many people with expertise in Biostatistics I was excited to see someone from Iowa State having similar interests.  

I replied right away. LAS Connect made it so easy to communicate directly on the platform. Being able to reach out through direct messaging was not only fast, but it also created a more casual environment which reduced some of the pressure that comes with networking.  

After getting to know a little bit more about Matt and his career journey, we decided to schedule a time to talk over zoom.  

Prep Time 

I have only done one other informational interview before this so I was starting to get a bit nervous. I wasn’t sure how formal or informal it would be or how much I needed to prepare. Thankfully, I had been reviewing our office’s informational interview and networking tips on our website earlier in the week, because if I hadn’t, I would not have been as prepared.   

I decided to start by generating a list of topics that I knew I wanted more information on. I wanted to know why he chose biostatistics and where he wanted to go with it. I was interested in the route he took during graduate school since he’d mentioned that it was nontraditional. Most importantly, I wanted to know specific things he had learned along the way.  

After I was done prepping, I felt relaxed and ready to learn more about my career of interest.  

What I Learned 

It was interesting to hear firsthand all of the insider information about the program. I learned about Matt’s unique route to graduate school and the benefits of his way, as well as the traditional way. I learned the basics about what to expect in graduate school and how best to prepare during your time in college. He also had great information on potential schools and which ones offer biostatistics programs most like the ones I described.  

Creating connections through LAS Connect allowed Matt and me to already have a connection, Iowa State. This was key in the learning things that I could apply to my own career journey. 

I learned about specific classes that are offered through my program at ISU that would be extremely helpful for my future. If I didn’t take this opportunity to connect with Matt, I probably would have missed out on these. That is just one example of the many useful things that I learned.  

Once I was over the initial shock of networking, I was so excited about the opportunity to learn firsthand about my career interests.  

I am now looking forward to continuing to grow my network and create new connections through LAS connect. Sign up for LAS Connect today and start your networking adventure! How do you sign up for LAS Connect? Follow these simple steps.  

1.) Visit https://lasconnect.org/ and click the “Get Started” button located on the bottom of the screen (you may have to first click to “accept cookies” at the top of the screen) 

2.) Register for LAS Connect through your preferred method (LinkedIn, Google, Facebook or Email) 

Blog by Kerrigan Urbi – LAS Career Services Student Communications Specialist