Professor Uses Facebook to Connect Real Estate Students and AlumniJan. 24, 2018
By Dresden Hale
When Chuck Delaney, an associate professor in the Hankamer School of Business' Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, met with a former student in 2009, he didn't know a chain reaction of networking was about to begin.
Unsatisfied with the primary alumni connection tool at the time - the university's alumni directory - and at the student's suggestion, Delaney created the Baylor Real Estate Students Facebook group.
"Originally, it was simply a way for current students to communicate outside of class," said Delaney.
That may have been the case nine years ago, but today the group has grown to almost 450 members - current students and alumni alike.
"What really surprised and delighted me was there were so many former students I had lost contact with after graduation, but with the creation of this group, in a relatively short period of time, people I hadn't heard from in 20 or more years were contacting me," said Delaney.
Delaney began to add these former students to the group, and within a few months there was a tight knit group of Baylor real estate students and alumni able to connect and communicate in a way that wasn't available before.
Through the group, students are able to learn more about the company they are applying to and the people working there from a personal perspective. The same goes for employers, as they are able to easily access a candidate's social media profile and get a one-on-one interaction.
"Former students are interested in helping students graduating get into the profession. They're now running their own company, they're CEOs, in positions of responsibility; they have access to a lot of entry-level positions, internships and mentorships. Not only that, they've made offers to host field trips, come and speak, host panel discussions - all sorts of things I had never envisioned when I set it up," said Delaney.
Students can post a resume or a small elevator pitch to the group, hoping to have an employer reach out to them, and from there, personal messages can be sent and interviews can be set up. Posting to the group allows for maximum visibility to the members of the group, only increasing the student's chances of receiving a response.
In surveys given to graduating students in the past, career services typically resulted in low student satisfaction, specifically for business students. The Facebook group allows the students to have another way to job search besides career services, as more recruiters hear about the group and are asking to be admitted.
"The group now is the primary conduit through which current students are finding employment. Not just in Texas but nationwide - even internationally," said Delaney.
Delaney hopes that his group will encourage other departments to create groups to increase student opportunities to connect with employers. Delaney is a professor who understands the power of relationships and networking, and it reflects not only in his care of the Facebook group, but the impact he leaves on his students.
"Professor Delaney was open day one to becoming our friend on Facebook and adding us to the real estate group. He is constantly posting about job opportunities and openings. He has worked harder than any professor I have had thus far to build a relationship with his students. If I ever needed anything from a Baylor faculty member, he is 100% the person I would feel most comfortable going to," said Sam Beasley, a former student.