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Deal With LinkedIn Gives MSU Alumni A Leg Up

Thanks to a strategic agreement with LinkedIn, the world's largest online professional network, Michigan State University alumni will get a leg up on career advancement and virtual communication while gaining credibility with employers.

Michigan State is the first university to join LinkedIn's College Pilot Program, said Bob Groves, vice president for university advancement at MSU. The mutually beneficial agreement will enhance LinkedIn's value for students and alumni and strengthen the relationship between MSU and the thousands of Spartans who network through the platform.

"We are excited for MSU to take a leading role among higher education institutions," Groves said. "As we continue to work closely with LinkedIn, our alumni will have the benefit of being at the cutting edge for innovation in career development opportunities within a well-respected professional network."

As a pilot partner, MSU will provide guidance to help LinkedIn provide better value to students and alumni, Groves said. In turn, MSU alumni belonging to the MSU LinkedIn group will receive training on how to use key LinkedIn product features -- such as job and internship listings -- to help advance their careers.

MSU's alumni group is one of the largest university alumni groups on LinkedIn with more than 23,000 members, Groves said. Together, LinkedIn and MSU will encourage alumni to join the group to learn about professional opportunities in the MSU alumni network and reconnect with fellow classmates.

The MSU-LinkedIn collaboration is the result of the university's advanced use of LinkedIn as a tool for career development, Groves said. John Hill, director of alumni career services, has given more than 500 presentations on how to use LinkedIn to increase employability.

"LinkedIn is focused on helping professionals -- and aspiring professionals -- find fulfilling careers, connect and engage with colleagues and build their professional reputations," said Christina Allen, director of product management at LinkedIn. "Teaming up with MSU and other colleges is a great way for us to explore the needs of students and alumni, and help them achieve long-term success and professional growth."

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