LinkedIn NYC Goes to College [SLIDESHOW]

March 29, 2013

As college basketball fans across the nation focused on honing their brackets, LinkedIn created its own version of March Madness for students in New York.

This month, employees in NYC spent a day mentoring college students in the area. It was all part of InDay, a monthly program where LinkedIn employees take a day away from their normal jobs to focus on something meaningful to them. This month’s theme was Mentor[in], which brought us to local colleges in the area.

The outcome … well, let’s hear what one of the students had to say, “I just want to thank you and the rest of your team for the session today! I learned a ton and have already taken steps to improving my LinkedIn profile. What you guys are doing is fantastic for us students and I want you to know we appreciate everything you're doing!”

Louis Cozzetto is a junior at Hofstra University with a double major in Finance and Information Technology. He sent me this note via LinkedIn after attending the session. Louis came mostly for the free pizza, but also thought he might learn a thing or two. He walked away with a whole new vision about how to connect with professionals in his field of study, build his own professional brand, and leverage LinkedIn to learn more about the IT industry, which he plans to enter shortly.

Louis wasn’t alone. LinkedIn employees visited six colleges in the NYC area and spent time coaching and mentoring hundreds of students on how to use LinkedIn to be more productive and successful.

Students learned how to create killer LinkedIn profiles, build a quality professional network, join groups, find jobs, and much more. Perhaps the most eye-opening moment for the students was when they feasted their eyes on LinkedIn Alumni. They discovered that within mere seconds, they have the ability to search tens of thousands of alumni from their school by where they live, what they studied in school, and most importantly, what they do now. The light bulb went on when they realized that they were just a click and a short note away from connecting with someone who could potentially change their lives.

The students weren’t the only ones who benefited from this InDay. Here’s what my colleague Kimberly Deane had to say about her Mentor[in] InDay, “What a phenomenal experience! The best part of the day was seeing the “ah-ha” moments students had as they realized the potential impact professional networking with LinkedIn can have on their careers.”

I’m grateful to work for a company that not only encourages its employees to make a difference in their communities, but actually puts its money where its mouth is by dedicating a full day each month to finding something meaningful to do, and making it happen. Since joining LinkedIn last year, I’ve cleaned up debris after Hurricane Sandy, learned from some of the greatest minds in business and mentored youth groups. Next month, I’ll be beautifying a community garden in Harlem as part of Earth Day. At LinkedIn, we’re making a difference one InDay at a time. Wouldn’t it be great if all companies celebrated InDay every month?