Courtesy of Laura Fong
In January 2020, Biola hub was launched to connect Biola alumni with a community network of other Biola grads. The app, which originally opened only to alumni, extended its outreach to Biola students on Nov. 8, aiming to create connections between students and alumni.
A NEW WAY TO USE THE APP
Alumni Engagement and Student Transitions Manager Laura Fong bridges the gap between student and alumni experiences. Fong explained that Biola students access a variety of resources during their time at Biola, but after they graduate they must navigate their identity as an alumni.
Biola Hub’s initial goal was to serve as a network between Biola alumni. However, after receiving feedback from users wanting to connect with students, they pivoted to connect students with alumni in organic ways.
Fong explained that entering the mentorship module is the first step in connecting the student community with the alumni community.
According to Fong, Biola Hub allows alumni access to an extensive alumni directory. The mentorship module uses information from the alumni directory to suggest potential mentors for students based on major, industry, location and other factors.
“Kind of like online dating,” Fong explained.
That does not mean students should expect a mentorship to just fall into their lap. Fong emphasized that the mentorship module requires student initiation—the app only serves as a bridge to eliminate barriers.
In particular, Fong said that alumni interested in mentoring current students have the option to add an “I’m willing to help” banner to their page. This self-directed option allows students to connect with alumni based on their availability. This feature helps break down the barrier of intimidation that students can experience when networking.
Additionally, Fong explained that everyone who joins the platform is verified as a graduate of the school. The platform allows users to filter levels of information they would like to share with other users, in the interest of defending users’ privacy.