Alumni Network Fails Students


Author: Sasha Pokrovskaya

I must confess that every single time I sit down to try to find jobs or work on my resume my stomach turns over with a sickening feeling. Perhaps it’s the result of hearing daily how many people have lost their jobs. Or maybe it’s the scarcity of jobs posted alongside high living costs and low wages. Nonetheless, it would be great if my soon-to-be alma mater (precisely one month and two days from now!) provided me with the resources so many students at other schools enjoy. I became truly embittered when I started talking to my friend attending MIT. She has been receiving several emails from her advisors and career counselors displaying various job opportunities specific to her major. Perhaps this is too much to ask, but it seems that we should have electronic resources, such as the ability to find alumni easily online.

As cited by Tamar Lewin, in the New York Times article “Going to College for Less (Passport Required)” the main reason to choose to attend such ridiculously expensive institutions in the U.S. rather than going to a more economically feasible institution abroad is due to the unique alumni network each institution provides.

The most agonizing part of it all is that in a recent move within our college, something that seems to be only paralleled by miscommunication between branches of the Bush presidency, our greatest resource, the Alumni Sharing Knowledge network, has been severely handicapped. This happened as the online network moved from the Career Development Center (CDC) to the office of Alumni Relations.

Currently the network is a cruel Catch-22-in order to find an alumni in your field of interest, you need to know his or her name or you can spend an endless number of hours perusing through the list of names that provide no useful information.

Considering that we are, in fact, facing the worst recession and job market since the Great Depression, shouldn’t the resolution of the website’s technological process be happening more quickly? Why is it so difficult to have a decent user interface? I just don’t understand why it’s so complicated to get the website to work properly. Is it really so troublesome to hire someone on a temporary basis to do some basic web design? Why can’t the old system be reinstated? As far as I know, this is the state of affairs since at least January. I must ask, why has it taken so long?

This technical difficulty concerns not only graduating seniors-this is a resource for all of Oxy’s students and alumni. For those of you not graduating in May, the alumni network is a great way to find that crucial internship. The time to fix it is now, and as of Monday, Apr. 13, the office of Alumni Relations was unable to provide me with a date by which the network would be running properly.

Sasha Pokrovskaya is a senior Biology major. She can be reached at

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