Conlon, Jo, Taylor, Andrew, Ashruff, Palveshah and Bird, Laura (2017) LinkedIn Groups: Building a community to create real connections to benefit students and alumni in Fashion and Textiles. In: University of Huddersfield Teaching and Learning Conference 2017, 13 September 2017, University of Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

This Fashion & Textiles Collective community presentation focuses on updating and encapsulating progress in the School of Art, Design & Architecture Teaching and Learning funded project. The project team include Fashion and Textiles Design and Business academics, International careers advisor and undergraduate researcher co-presented the latest results, evolving strategies and user experiences on how the project has leveraged and increased the social capital within this professional Fashion & Textiles Higher education community network.
LinkedIn has become the premier social media site for professionals, most employers will search for a job candidate on LinkedIn; despite this many students use a range of other social media. LinkedIn has many powerful tools and inherent capabilities that facilitate the range of networking that students engage in to find internships, placements, jobs, and to make professional connections, but compiling a profile takes time with a slow build to engage as “future professionals”.
The project team have encouraged undergraduates to join the UoH alumni group on LinkedIn since 2013. The ADA funded T&L project (2016/17) aimed to link these early disconnected undergraduate and alumni activities into a community hub, and recently this initiative is now providing data on graduate destinations (including data for DHLE) and fast paced career progression, as well as sharing current professional resources and encouraging and enhancing networking opportunities for undergraduates and postgraduates to exist in a vibrant online community.
The project has demonstrated the potential to more actively connect with and draw upon the experience of alumni as role models and mentors. We have started immediately to launch LinkedIn with our first years, who have responded enthusiastically and very professionally. The project has attracted increased numbers of alumni and business partners to connect with the LinkedIn group.

LinkedIn Groups: Building a community to create real connections to benefit students and alumni in Fashion and Textiles
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