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Student and alumni connections grow through Trojans to Trojans Initiative

Thousands of experienced alumni build relationships with current and recently graduated students through the Trojan Network online platform.

2018 Gould school of law graduates celebrate
Thanks to this university initiative, graduates and current students can connect with eager USC alumni. (Photo/Mikel Healey)

USC students know that the Trojan Family is one of the world’s most powerful networks, comprising more than 425,000 alumni working in every industry and living around the globe. But accessing this robust network to make connections, find a mentor or get support as you navigate various stages in your career and personal life was sometimes a bit of a mystery.

Now, thanks to USC’s Trojans to Trojans Initiative, 2020 graduates and current students can connect with USC alumni who are eager to provide them with advice. And they can do it all with just a few clicks by signing up for the Trojan Network.

The Trojan Network is a free online platform where USC students and recent graduates can go to build valuable relationships with alumni to get career advice, learn about a field or industry and cultivate professional connections and opportunities. The service, provided by the USC Career Center and supported by the USC Alumni Association, gives students the power to tap into the knowledge, expertise and loyalty of the Trojan Family and build bridges between where they are today and where they want to go in their careers.

It’s really true that, wherever you go, your Trojan Family wants to be there to support you.

Carol L. Folt

Helping Trojans succeed — while they are in school or after they graduate — is a top priority for USC President Carol L. Folt, who has enthusiastically endorsed the Trojan Network. Given the devasting economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, trusted advice and connections are more important than ever before for USC students entering the workforce.

“One of the things I love the most about Trojans is that they believe in and create a network of people who are eager to help each other in their careers and in life,” Folt said. “It’s really true that, wherever you go, your Trojan Family wants to be there to support you.”

Online platform makes it easier for Trojan Family to support each other

While the USC Career Center has always offered a wide range of resources designed to help students and alumni realize their full potential, Carl Martellino of USC Student Affairs said the Trojan Network enlists the help of alumni: “The Trojan Network gives students and graduates the opportunity to get advice and help in a very convenient and effective way, online 24/7. It’s a great catalyst for new connections.”

Erin Schechter, a junior communications major at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, quickly found a mentor in the entertainment industry on the Trojan Network. “My mentor was incredibly helpful and gave amazing advice,” she said. “She even offered to look over my resume and to send her the list of companies I applied to, to see if she knew anybody who worked there.”

Key features of the Trojan Network include the ability to create a profile, search for and connect as a mentor or mentee, and choose involvement levels — from one-time meetings to longer, sustained periods of time. Members can search and connect around areas of interest, expertise, location, USC experiences and more.

One of the hallmarks of a USC education is the extraordinary connections that can be made within the Trojan Family, beginning as a student and lasting throughout life. Supporting one another is part of the Trojan DNA, said Martellino, the associate vice provost for student affairs and career services.

“The Trojan Network is a great new way of fostering meaningful interactions among USC students and our worldwide community of accomplished and dedicated alumni,” said Patrick E. Auerbach, USC’s associate senior vice president for alumni relations. “Today, it is an especially valuable resource for USC’s newest graduates, the members of the Class of 2020, who unexpectedly find themselves entering a world of unprecedented uncertainty.”

Trojan Network encourages mentorship across careers, experience

USC Viterbi School of Engineering alumnus Eric Biegeleisen joined the Trojan Network in late April. The managing director of research for 3EDGE Asset Management connected with a recent USC Viterbi graduate through the platform.

Serving as a mentor is … an impactful way of giving back to USC.

Patrick E. Auerbach

“We learned about each other’s backgrounds, and we discussed the things I had learned along my career path,” Biegeleisen said. “I shared advice on how to network and the lessons learned from starting a business. I also offered to connect him with some folks I know for a summer internship.”

According to Auerbach, USC alumni — regardless of where they are in their careers — have knowledge and experiences that can be valuable to other members of the USC community. “Serving as a mentor is a fantastic way to support members of the next generation in a field or industry, and it’s an impactful way of giving back to USC,” he said.

In light of the enthusiastic response to the Trojan Network, the USC Career Center and USC Alumni Association are hosting Trojans to Trojans Networking Day on June 18. This free online event for 2020 graduates and current students will feature discussions and programs hosted by alumni professionals and career services experts. Registration is now open.

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Student and alumni connections grow through Trojans to Trojans Initiative

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