Ravenscroft Connect allows you to both re-connect with old classmates as well as enabling you to utilize the trusted Ravenscroft School environment to expand your professional network.
By fully integrating with social networks, and cultivating a culture of helping and giving back, you will be amazed how vibrant your Ravenscroft School community is!
Please note the following guidelines when using Ravenscroft Connect for your professional development needs.
- Posting to Ravenscroft Connect
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Mentoring on Ravenscroft Connect
- Tips on Being a Mentor
- Resources for Mentees
Thank you for your interest in posting to the Ravenscroft Connect update board! Ravenscroft Connect is a safe online resource for Ravenscroft students, alumni, and friends designed to support the professional development of the Ravenscroft community. The following guidelines will ensure the ongoing value and security of this network.
Examples of acceptable Updates Board content include:
- Articles related to professional development.
- Requests for career advice.
- Posts about your professional path and what you can offer other Ravens.
- Job postings for experienced alumni.
- General tips related to professional development.
- Postings about professional development events or volunteer opportunities.
Posts will be deleted if they contain any of the following:
- Discussion of illegal activity or threats of violence.
- Explicit, racist, obscene or vulgar language, images or messages.
- Attacks, insults, defamation or abuse towards other users or Ravenscroft University.
- Solicitations, personal promotions, advertising or spam not related to professional development.
- Public contact information. Phone numbers and emails can be shared in a personal message thread, but not on the message board.
Please contact Tammy Haywood with any additional questions.
Did the idea for Ravenscroft Connect come from alumni?
- Yes! In 2016, the Ravenscroft Alumni Council, as part of the Alumni Association Strategic Plan, rolled out Ravenscroft Connect- a platform for enhancing the alumni experience. In talking with alumni to develop the strategic plan, we learned of the need for more networking opportunities- including mentorship opportunities, internship opportunities, and a desire for our alumni to help and connect with other alumni. At the same time, alumni have called for a more seamless and direct way to get tapped into the mentoring and volunteering community at Ravenscroft . Ravenscroft Connect seeks to do all of this by connecting alumni of all ages as well as current members of the senior class.
What can I do on the website?
- Ravenscroft Connect users can:
- Look for mentors or mentees through a powerful and searchable professional directory and utilize the communication tools to contact each other directly through the site.
- Ask for or give advice
- Browse a calendar of upcoming events.
How is this different from other social media sites dedicated to professional development?
- For starters, Ravenscroft Connect is just for the Ravenscroft community! While sites like LinkedIn enable you to network broadly, Ravenscroft Connect provides an exclusive and focused level of access to the unique Ravenscroft Network. It is also a valuable complement to your LinkedIn account, and you can even import your LinkedIn information into Ravenscroft Connect!
- Ravenscroft Connect is both a first, important step for leveraging the expertise and talent of Ravenscroft alumni, and a way to amplify your professional development reach in unison with LinkedIn.
Who will be able to access the site?
- All Ravenscroft alumni will be granted access to the site, and are invited to sign up to participate, as will Ravenscroft faculty and staff who are looking to share professional development and volunteer opportunities with the Ravenscroft network.
What if more seasoned alumni are looking for professional development opportunities?
- Start with Ravenscroft Connect. Whether you just graduated, are exploring a career, are working on specific skills or are just looking to get back into the workforce, you can connect to the Ravenscroft network through Ravenscroft Connect.
What kind of assistance are alumni and current seniors looking for?
- Alumni can share their professional and educational expertise in several ways:
- Introduce others to your connections
- Open doors at your workplace
- Answer industry-specific questions
- Offer advice and discuss your career path
- Speak to student groups or be part of a panel
- Welcome students to shadow you at your place of employment or take part in a summer internship
- And more!
Is the site secure?
- Yes, the site will be password protected. You can choose to sign in through your email, LinkedIn or Facebook account.
When can I sign up?
- Users may sign up for an account anytime. Ravenscroft Connect launched in October 2016, to quickly build up the Ravenscroft community's presence on the website so that users can see the immediate value of a highly engaged network. Of course, the excitement doesn't end there. Ravenscroft Connect is a platform for continuous engagement with the Ravenscroft community, and we hope that you will continue to use this powerful tool for your networking and professional development needs throughout the year.
As an Ravenscroft Connect Mentor you are a guide and resource who shares your education and professional experience to help pave the way for students to succeed at Ravenscroft and beyond. You may participate as much or as little as you wish, whenever and wherever you wish — your time commitment is entirely up to you.
As an Ravenscroft Connect Mentor, you play several roles, including:
• Motivator: Expresses belief and confidence in the mentee’s abilities, and encourages the mentee to try new things.
• Resource: Teaches and advises the mentee on how to make professional contacts, and introduces the mentee to new people, places or ideas.
• Supporter: Encourages open and honest dialogue, and listens to and responds to the needs of the mentee.
• Coach: Helps the mentee to develop and work to achieve realistic and meaningful goals.
Listen first before sharing. After you accept a mentoring request, expect that the student will follow with a message. Understand your mentee's needs and priorities at the moment. There may be many things to discuss, but it is important to focus on what/why your mentee is asking for your help.
Let your mentee own the next step. Give options to your mentee rather than telling them what to do. Bounce ideas back and forth with your mentee. Be sure you are only providing your thoughts and feedback instead of directly telling your mentee what to do. Enlighten the path but let them choose the next step. They are more likely to follow through.
Be willing to address teachable moments. When your mentee makes a mistake, let them know. You might be the first one to tell them that they're doing it wrong. If you're not comfortable bringing it up or need help in how to approach it, contact Tammy Haywood, Ravenscroft Alumni Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Encourage continued conversation. Long-term mentoring often happens when the mentee feels that their continued outreach is welcomed. At the end of your conversation, invite them to stay in touch. If you know that they have a project or an interview or a decision that they are making soon, follow up and inquire what happened. During midterms and final exam time, send a quick hello and good luck and maybe a study tip to help boost their confidence. This opens many doors to follow-up mentoring conversations. It will also teach them what proper follow-up and relationship building means.
Model professional behavior. Students can learn from you what professional behavior looks like. Show them through your writing what a business correspondence looks like. Show them the importance of honoring one's commitments and appointments and limit rescheduling or running late. If you cannot honor your commitment, show them what it's like to accept responsibility and apologize gracefully.
Know your limitations. Your own experience will be enough in most situations. However, we don't expect you to be able to answer all of your mentee’s questions. Be willing to admit when you don't know the answer or your mentee needs specialized support.
What if members ask me for a job?
Please note that while jobs and internships are possible outcomes of mentoring and networking, you are not expected to provide this service. Students/alumni may contact you to ask for an informational interview. If a student does ask you for a job, please inform them that you are not able to help them in that way. If you are willing, you may offer to tell them about working in the company or provide insight into your company's recruiting process.
I want to make connections on Ravenscroft Connect. Now what?
Great! We’re glad you are open to reaching out to alumni to glean advice on career related topics.
Be strategic. This platform works best when you do some research on 1) yourself, to understand why you are seeking advice and 2) the prospective connection and/or mentor — what is it about their job that interests you? In other words, it’s not about the number of connections you make, it’s about the communication and information that follows from the conversations you have that will help you move on to the next step in your career search and/or development.
Nuts and Bolts: Once you identify a prospective connection and/or mentor, click on the “Send Message” tab on the right side of their profile page. You will then be prompted to include a note (see potential templates below). Be sure to include a clear subject line in your initial outreach. Once the person accepts your request, it’s essential that you take the initiative to follow up with the same note. Alumni are being advised to wait for the student/alumni to follow up, so it’s on you to take that next step.
How does the mentorship process work?
If you are seeking more formalized mentoring at this time, you can click “Request Mentorship” on the right side of a profile page. You will need to include a customized note in this request similar to the templates below.
Remember, mentoring is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. You may request an alum to be your mentor because you want to learn about working abroad or to unpack the medical or graduate school application and interview processes. Or, perhaps you want to learn more about a particular industry or job function. The mentoring relationship is defined both by your needs and your mentor’s availability.
Alternatively, if you don’t need a formal mentor at this time, you can simply message an alum for specific advice.
How do I follow up with a connection and/or mentor once they accept my request?
Following up with your connection(s) is the most crucial component of utilizing Ravenscroft Connect. If you don’t hear back, move on to the next alum and continue your search for advice.
First, identify commonalities between you and the potential connection and/or mentor:
Some common examples are: Ravenscroft , major, geographic location (Are you from the same area? Do you have family/friends there?), area of interest, student club leadership/ previous internship/ relevant course project(s), or interest in the mentor’s job function and/or organization in which they work.
Second, always have an “ask” — do not leave the message open-ended.
Remember, you are asking for a mentor’s ADVICE; you are not explicitly asking for an internship or job.
So, what do you want from this request?
Here are a few possibilities to brainstorm (this is not an exhaustive list — you can customize it based on your needs):
Templates for sending messages
An example of a message to send if you've never met the recipient:
Hi [name of mentor],
I am a sophomore at (insert your school name) majoring in economics and am exploring summer internship opportunities in the start-up realm. I’d welcome your perspective on your entrepreneurship venture, as well as what it’s like to work at (insert the companyname). I’m looking at similar organizations and would welcome any insights you have.
If you have a few minutes to either talk by phone, in person or email, I’d very much appreciate connecting.
Thank you, and I look forward to talking with you soon.
Your name [first and last]
An example of a message to send to a recipient you have met previously:
Hi [name of mentor],
It was great meeting you at the networking event on [date] at [place]. I enjoyed talking to you about [x topic]. As a reminder, I am a sophomore at (list your aschool) majoring in economics and am exploring summer internship opportunities in the start-up realm.
If you have a few minutes to continue the conversation, I’d very much appreciate connecting.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Your name [first and last]
Okay, the community member accepted my request, I followed up with a message and coordinated a time to talk/meet. Now what?
Prepare, be concise and respect the member’s time. Remember, this person is taking time out of their busy schedule to talk to you. Here are some potential questions you might customize for your conversation. Target five to 10 questions knowing you may not get to ask all of them. Let the conversation flow organically and rely on the questions as needed.
Be sure to follow up after you talk with a brief thank you note via Ravenscroft Connect (or email if you have contact information outside of the system).
After the initial contact/meeting, how do I follow up?
It’s up to you. If you still have unanswered questions, ask them (but, again, be mindful of time). If the person offers to connect you with contacts outside of Ravenscroft Connect, follow up on that offer. If you have good news to share or relevant information, then definitely reach out. Remember: networking is a two-way street, and it’s not always about reaching out to just ask for a favor.
Should I use the Ravenscroft Connect Updates board?
Maybe. While the updates board can be effective in broadly communicating an inquiry or opportunity, your message can also be buried in the feed. Additionally, if you’re exploring a field or job function, take the time to research and identify possible connections to have a more customized approach for you and the alum.
In short, it’s not up to the users of Ravenscroft Connect to respond to your inquiry directly on the update board — if you pursue this route, you need to post your message and be sure to follow up with those who comment on your message.