If you are pondering your future career, one of the ways of generating some ideas is to look at what alumni have gone on to do, and where they have ended up.
Although the graduate survey gives good aggregate data, LinkedIn goes down to a much more granular level, in fact to individuals. The advantage is then, of course, that if you can connect to these alumni, either on LinkedIn or via another means, you may be able to get some advice or insight into that career.
It can also help to identify smaller organisations or less well known ones in the particular field you are interested in.
The “slice and dice” data analysis has become much more user friendly, and even a few minutes spent looking can give a rich overall picture.
Step by step:
In LinkedIn, navigate to the LSE Alumni page by searching for LSE and clicking on “Alumni” on the side bar. You have over 190K people to research at the time of writing.
You can search by anything you like but often a good staring place is to put in the title of your course. Putting it in quotes will give more accurate results i.e. “BSc in Economics”. Newer courses will yield fewer results, as will courses that have changed their name. You may be able to find out previous titles for your course or try searching on several similar courses at once.
This will yield a summary of the top 15 places where they live and where they work. If you click Next you get what they do and what they studied.
Click next again and you get what they are skilled at and how you are connected.
If you click on any of the bars, it will add that to the criteria and filter the results e.g. if you click on “EY” it returns the 19 people who work at EY.
If you then scroll down, you can see those 19 individuals.
If you are interested in a particular cut that is not in the top 15, you can click on the “+ Add” which is in the top right of each of the boxes.
This functionality also appears on company pages, under “People” (not “Alumni”). If you are interested in researching a company in advance of an interview, for example, this may yield some interesting insights – about a quarter of IBM’s employees are in India!
And finally, given that so many people are working remotely at the moment, this may be a good time to reach out to alumni and ask for a call or a Skype or Zoom session. Be respectful of people’s time but a well worded invite can pay dividends. For example:
I’m currently doing the course you did at LSE three years ago and am interested in getting into UX. Can you spare 15 minutes at your convenience to talk to me about your experience? Anything you can advise to someone in my position about entering the profession would be most useful. Let me know when would be a good time to speak. I’m happy to do it over the phone, or via Skype or Zoom.
A straw poll of students who’ve tried this approach have cited about a 10% response rate, but you may find that during the current situation, alumni are more willing to give up their time.