Volume 11 No. 1 SPRING 2010

Get Connected

Get Connected
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There’s a theory that anyone on earth can be connected to anyone else on earth in an average of six steps. The problem, of course, is finding the right six connections to get you to the person you want to meet.

In the olden days this would have required good old-fashioned footwork—attending an event, working a room, collecting business cards to fill out your rolodex. These days, new technologies have made it easier, quicker and more seamless to get to the people you want.

Our new alumni networking site, SmithConnector, combines the power of online social networking with the power of your alumni connections. More than 47,000 living Smith alumni will be part of the network.

Your paths may have started at Smith. but since then they have diverged in exciting ways. There are many more connections beyond the University of Maryland that you may share with fellow alumni. SmithConnector offers you the chance to discover them—to connect at a different level.

And it can help you forge business and personal connections—to seek out former classmates at companies you’re interested in working for, or reconnect with an old friend, or find the perfect partner for your new venture.

Activate your alumni network to decrease the degrees of separation between you and the people you want to know, for your mutual benefit.


Social Networking
CONNECT to Facebook and LinkedIn automatically
JOIN a program-based peer group
CREATE a “friends list” and build your network
ADD photos, blogs, widgets, and RSS feeds to customize your profile

Professional Networking
ACCESS a web-based directory of Smith alumni from around the world
SUBMIT a “class note” and share your news with the community
CREATE your own industry-based alumni group
REGISTER for and attend alumni events in your region

Alumni News & Information
CHAT with members of the Alumni Chapter Board
READ what alumni are doing in “Alumni Spotlight”
SHARE your point of view on a particular topic in “Alumni Perspective”

Alumni Career Services
SEARCH career opportunities around the world
POST your job and help recruit Smith alumni
LEARN about alumni career panels, workshops and career coaching seminars

For help with SmithConnector,
call 301-405-4900 or e-mail.
Allow 48 hours for a response.


Professional Connections
SmithConnector’s Webcard functions like an online business card, letting others see basic information about your job—title, company, industry, job description. You’ll be able to view fellow alumni Webcards as well. Looking for an IT specialist, a marketing guru, a caterer? Browse Webcards first to find a Maryland alum who can meet your need. You can also import your entire resume into SmithConnector. Turn it on when you’re searching for a new position, or turn it off when you’ve found the perfect fit.

Social Connections
Wondering where that old classmate got to? SmithConnector can help you find him or her—we’ll be sharing our complete alumni database. Then add your old friend to your friends list.

It’s easy to find other people with whom you share a common bond (beyond the fact that you’re both Terps). Through SmithConnector you can meet alumni who were part of your club or fraternity, played the same sport, have the same hobbies or interests, live in your region or work in your industry.

Smith Connector lets you upload photos too. You can link to your Facebook page from SmithConnector, so friends can find your personal and family news. Link to your LinkedIn page and your professional network can do the same. Plan to attend an alumni event? SmithConnector can publish that information directly to your Facebook profile, so your friends can see that you’re going.

Smith School News
Learn about career services and educational opportunities offered strictly to Smith alumni, as well as all the latest school news and events.

Need a break? SmithConnector isn’t all about work—it lets you play, too.

SmithConnector is a safe space, password protected and open only to members of the Smith community.

The value of the network expands in direct proportion to the information it holds. A telephone is a powerful tool for connecting—but only if the other guy has a phone too! And once most people have phones, the network of phones gets truly powerful and useful. The larger a network, the faster its value increases.

To get the most out of SmithConnector, you’ll need to fill out your profile with as much detail as possible. That will allow you to find people with whom you share a connection—and let them find you as well.

SmithConnector is going to be a great tool to strengthen your network. But don’t take our word for it! Check out SmithConnector for yourself. Fill out your profile, add friends to your network and enjoy this sophisticated, easy-to-use tool. And play a game or two—we won’t tell.

Bill Gossman, MBA ‘91

Fast Facts: CEO of hi5, the third largest social entertainment website in the world; a serial entrepreneur who has a track record for monetizing online audiences in the digital media space.

Bill GossmanBill Gossman knows how to network. “I can pretty much find my way to anyone in the digital industry anywhere in the world,” Gossman says cheerfully. He’s parlayed that skill into a long successful career of launching or turning around more businesses than he can count. He uses online networking to ease his path to the people who can make a difference to his business.

“Online networking is a friction-free environment,” says Gossman. “It’s easier than picking up a phone and saying ‘what’s new.’ I recently saw that a friend was in San Francisco on business so I was able to arrange to have lunch with him.”

Social networking sites can be a great place to start making yourself known if you’re looking to change career paths as well, says Gossman. “If you want to build a network in the cloud computing business, start to friend a lot of people in the industry, and soon you’ll be popping up on other people’s friend recommendations.”

Gossman acknowledges that face-to-face communication is important to relationship-building, but he appreciates the fact that he can easily and conveniently share a huge part of his life through social networking, constantly telling people about himself and learning things about others.

“Social networking sites are like a very persistent directory of people I want to stay in contact with for personal or for professional reasons. It’s a way I can store value—I can publish pictures, I can put my resume on LinkedIn, I can publish my scores for the games I play on Hi5. All these things build up affinity connections,” says Gossman.

It’s often easier to do due diligence with social networking sites too. Gossman was recently at dinner with someone from New York who wanted to talk to him about starting a business. “This guy was able to practically recite my resume, which he’d gotten through LinkedIn,” says Gossman. “He was able to use the social network to do his homework so that when he met me, he could get the most out of it.”

Bill Gossman lives in Seattle with wife Cheryl, sons Hunter and Connor, daughter Elizabeth and two dogs. He says it doesn’t rain nearly as much as you think it does. Connect with Bill on SmithConnector.

Wayne Kimmel (ARHU ‘92)

Fast Facts: managing partner of SeventySix Capital, the top-ranked venture capital firm in the U.S. that under Kimmel’s direction has invested in several successful companies such as SeamlessWeb (acquired by ARAMARK; CEO Jason Finger, is a Maryland alum), Take Care Health Systems (acquired by Walgreens), and NutriSystem (NTRI), ranked by Forbes as the best small company in the United States.

Wayne KimmelWayne Kimmel was a history major at Maryland, went on to Widener Law School, and then worked in his father’s law firm before starting ETF Venture Funds, now SeventySix Capital, in 1999 during the Internet boom. He’s also active politically and with philanthropic causes in the mid-Atlantic region. So he knows the power of networking, and he’s been an early adopter of technologies that allow him to network more efficiently and effectively.

“Technology creates a frictionless environment,” says Kimmel. “It’s easier to connect and communicate. Building a relationship goes beyond a simple contact, so it’s still important to invest in relationships with people. But online networking tools can help you make introductions. It makes it easier to stay in touch with people.”

Kimmel is still very engaged with member of his Maryland fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi. “We stay in touch through phone calls, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter,” reports Kimmel. “Facebook and Twitter are both great ways to keep tabs on each other.”

Kimmel says that social networks also allow him to be “more personal with more people.” Kimmel checks the Facebook pages of business associates to see when to send a birthday card or congratulations if someone’s child is getting married or bar mitzvahed or has hit a home run in Little League. “Business is global, but I can’t be everywhere at the same time. I want to be with my wife and kids. This lets me stay in touch more efficiently, learn more, help more.”

Kimmel also values the opportunity to see exactly what kind of person he is doing business with. “I want to be known as a good businessman, a good parent and a good philanthropist, and I also want to work with those kinds of people,” says Kimmel. “I like to do business with friends and with like-minded, good people.”

Kimmel lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, with his wife Kimberly and their two children. Kimmel is a Philly sports fan and a Maryland fan, with a particular penchant for basketball. Connect with Kimmel on SmithConnector.

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