Oct 052009
Authors: Vincent Crespin

Alex Miningham found that his master’s degree made him too qualified for many jobs in the current market.

So he decided to take his career in his own hands and help his fellow graduate students. Thus, inDegree.com was born.

The Web site, which launched on Sept. 1, is a professional networking site created by Miningham to help link graduate degree holders to alumni and corporations. It allows users to create an online profile and can be used to update a resume, contact alumni of their university and apply for jobs not listed publicly.

“I found many career centers are equipped mainly just to help undergraduate students, which, to my friends and I, wasn’t helpful as graduate students. After countless career fairs and being told I was over-qualified, a friend and I came up with this service to help people like us in that situation,” Miningham, the company’s CEO, said.

inDegree, which has a strategic partnership with the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students organization specifically, targets accredited schools within NAGPS — CSU is a member — to bring top talent in each field to top employers, such as Fortune 500 companies, he said.

Miningham said one of inDegree’s earliest success stories is a student studying medicine who created a profile and a resume on the site. Within two weeks, four corporations had contacted the student and three had offered the student a job as a dietician.

The program also benefits the universities themselves, Miningham said, by helping raise rates for graduate level job placement, which in turn bolsters their standing in the eyes of the college ranking institutions such as College Board.

Wendy Rose, assistant director of CSU’s Career Center, said networking can be beneficial to anyone’s career.

“Networking is a big key when finding a way to get a job,” she said. “Graduate students have specific fields they wish to go into. inDegree seems like a good way to network yourself into some of those more specific areas that may be beyond (the Career Center’s) resources.”

Raphael Ruiz, a graduate student in Anthropology, said he can see the benefit of such a service. He said with the popularity of social networking sites today, it is natural for someone to create a site like inDegree to compete with more straightforward online job finders such as Monster and CareerBuilder.com.

“It would be tremendously helpful to get to know people through social networking that are in your field and know what it is like out there in your specific career,” Ruiz said. “When you look at the aspect of the site helping people get jobs, it sounds like lots of people can benefit from it.”

Staff writer Vince Crespin can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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