5 ways to tap into the powerful, far-reaching Gettysburg Network

The Gettysburg Network is a unique and powerful one. It’s not only far-reaching—consisting of more than 30,000 alumni around the world across all industries—but it’s also lifelong, and it’s at the tip of your fingers.

As a Gettysburgian, you and your story are interwoven into this close-knit network from day one, as you begin to build your network of close friends in the classroom and through extracurriculars, and expand it even further as you explore your passions—united in the College community’s pursuit to Do Great Work.

The people you meet on campus and through the Gettysburg Network are people who stick with you, remaining just as strong and formative in the years after graduation as they were during your four at Gettysburg. From catching up with your closest College friends for coffee, reuniting with classmates during Homecoming and BOLD Reunion, staying connected with faculty and mentors online, or making a new connection that leads to new opportunities, Gettysburg and its people will forever be a part of your web.

Looking for ways to tap into the Gettysburg Network? Read five simple yet transformative ways below.

1. Get plugged in online.

Haley Shultz ’21 with Public Policy Prof. Anne Douds
Haley Shultz ’21 with Public Policy Prof. Anne Douds

Online connections are invaluable in today’s digital age. Professional networking apps like LinkedIn offer users a unique opportunity to not only market themselves, but to also engage with individuals in industries of interest across the world, from wherever they are.

Seeing an opportunity to foster more connections and career-building conversations within its Gettysburg Network, Gettysburg College implemented an online networking system—called connectGettysburg—in 2019 specifically for the College community. With nearly 3,000 users currently registered, connectGettysburg offers a close-knit community for Gettysburgians to seek career advice and opportunities from other alumni, parents, and friends of the College.

This platform’s value and success are tangible, as several alumni like Dylan O’Neil ’20 have utilized connectGettysburg to jumpstart and advance their careers. Creating a profile is easy, too—you can do so using your Gettysburg College login credentials or with your LinkedIn, Google, or Facebook account! Learn more about connectGettysburg, and register.

2. Attend a virtual “meetup” or alumni networking event.

Virtual Meetup Playlist

Health Professions Careers Zoom Meetup

The opportunities online may begin with networking platforms like LinkedIn and connectGettysburg, but they don’t end there. Every month, Gettysburg College hosts various virtual events for both students and alumni to tap into the Gettysburg Network.

The College’s “How Did I Get Here?” virtual series features successful alumni with interesting career paths, providing time for questions at the end, while Trivia Night rallies the curious, lifelong learners with fun Gettysburg knowledge.

Virtual “meetups” in particular are one such event that bridges alumni and current students by facilitating knowledge sharing, career engagement, and mentoring relationships. Recent meetups have included business, finance, health sciences, public policy, marketing, and many others.

On campus and in pockets across the country—and even, at times, across the world—alumni gatherings are happening in person too. Check the College’s events calendar in engageGettysburg for a list of upcoming virtual and in-person happenings.

3. Seek out mentors.

X-SIG students standing outside of a cave
Owen Skirtich ’20 (right) pictured with his mentor Biology Prof. István Urcuyo (middle) and Georgia Larzelere ’22 (left) as they explored invertebrate life in Pennsylvania caves, as part of their X-SIG research in 2019.

Once you have begun building the foundation of your professional network, you should think small too—seeking out mentors within your network. A mentor acts as an advisor and support person, often providing a candid look into a field of interest and offering advice and guidance to the mentee as they navigate their career journey.

As many of our alumni experienced the immense value of mentorships firsthand, the Gettysburg Network is filled with successful professionals eager to help fellow Gettysburgians. In addition to LinkedIn and connectGettysburg, for current Gettysburg College students, Handshake is another powerful tool to explore potential networking relationships, through which students can make a profile and virtually connect with employers, alumni, and students at other schools.

Opportunities for mentorships might even exist in your own circles. Think about your junior or senior peers, professors, advisors, coaches, alumni, and internship supervisors who have been influential to you—these are all great places to start.

4. Engage in career exploration.

T-Rowe Price
Students on an immersion trip to T. Rowe Price through the Center for Career Development

Students at Gettysburg College have many moments during their undergraduate studies to develop a better understanding of their interests and strengths and how those can transfer into success after college.

Experiential learning opportunities, including externships, are a great way to explore potential career paths and gain firsthand exposure to a career or industry before considering internship opportunities. Shorter than an internship, an externship typically lasts three to five days during the summer.

Job shadows and immersion trips are also great means of exploration offered through the Center for Career Engagement. Job shadows offer a one-day experience shadowing alumni or parent volunteers in the workplace, whereas immersion trips are multi-day intensive career programs. These trips can include site visits to various companies, meetings with alumni and parents, case study presentations, and networking receptions with alumni, parents, and friends of the College.

Stay up-to-date with career events and job and internship searches in Handshake.

5. See every interaction as an opportunity to make a connection.

Friends sharing a meal
Friends share a meal and a beloved Gettysburg College tradition during Servo Thanksgiving

Many Gettysburgians would agree: at Gettysburg College, the people make the place. Throughout a student’s four years, they have the opportunity to gain much more than a foundational liberal arts and sciences education. As a Gettysburgian, you gain a community—a lifelong and close-knit family—that supports you from Gettysburg onward.

On campus, the possibilities for connections exist all around you, from your first-year roommate to your First-Year Seminar, from clubs and extracurricular activities to the dining tables in Servo, and everywhere in between. STEM Scholar and computer science major Kevin Estrada ’25 saw such a possibility during Family Weekend this year—connecting with the dad of one of his friends about an internship opportunity.

Kevin Benavente ’20 learned of career opportunities at asset management company T. Rowe Price through his friend Kevin Klassen ’19, who is one of many Gettysburg alumni employed with T. Rowe Price. Leveraging his education and his Gettysburg Network, Benavente landed a position as an investment fellow before graduation and has been promoted since.

Where will you find your opportunity?

Make an appointment with the Center for Career Engagement in Handshake to learn more about how you can build connections within your circles and tap into the powerful Gettysburg Network.

By Molly Foster
Photos by Shawna Sherrell and Miranda Harple
Posted: 04/28/22