Northeastern’s new alumni networking platform NUsource — initial impressions

NUsource is a brand-new platform designed exclusively for Northeastern alumni. Much like LinkedIn, the site can be used to create professional connections, but it’s also a great place to develop mentoring relationships and solicit and share career advice with other Husky alumni.

Functionality and User Friendliness

To begin, the homepage includes a dashboard which allows you to access your calendar, inbox and user profile. Additionally, recent posts, latest resources (basically site tutorial videos) and personal recommendations reside here.

The “Explore the Community Tab” is fairly similar to LinkedIn.  Options for filtering in the section include by Help Topics, Northeastern Degree Types, Major(s), User Type, Availability, Primary College and Northeastern Involvement. Being able to filter by these categories provides a great deal of flexibility and can really help to simplify your search.

The “Groups” page allows members to connect with people with like interests and affinities and share information and engage in discussions.  Although these were created in most cases several months ago or more, very few currently have more than a handful of members.

On the upside, there appears to be a huge variety of groups including Asian American Affinity, Black Affinity, civil and environmental engineering Affinity, Halal, LatinX Affinity, LGBTQA+ Affinity, Marketing/Communications and more!  There really seems to be almost something for everyone. And if you can’t find the one you’re looking for, it’s really easy to create your own group directly from this page.

The Discussion area, where users post career questions and solicit advice, is not unlike LinkedIn, and as a matter fact, there seems to be some content overlap. Discussions are sorted by the following criteria: All Questions, Unanswered, Answered and My Posts. I thought this was an interesting way to categorize the threads and believe it could be helpful for individuals looking to find posts that have already been responded to. Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal of activity on this page to date. In fact, a majority of the more recent articles are dated “a month ago.”

Lastly, there is a “share” tab that allows you to send referral links by email to other NU alumni. It’s clear that the site owners are making great efforts to engage the Husky alumni community. To that end, they have created a leader board ranking individuals by the number of invites they’ve sent. Right now, the individuals ranked in first, second, and third place each have sent one invite (!).

Overall Impressions

In terms of navigation, I found the site to be very user-friendly. The setup is fairly simplistic, but if I’m being honest, not particularly visually appealing.  There is definitely room for improvement here.

In terms of recent posts and content, it’s clear users have not yet jumped on the bandwagon. At this point, engagement is minimal, evidenced by the lack of “likes” and “replies” to posts.

While on the site, I experienced significant delays loading new pages/posts.  At one point, I was hung up for more than two minutes when I attempted to browse my recommendations (“recommended for you” section).  Perhaps these were somewhat isolated incidents, but it seems patience is in order, at least for now.

Overall, I don’t think NUsource will be putting LinkedIn out of business anytime soon, but it could prove to be a solid platform for NU alumni to connect, if and when the site becomes more robust and its users more active.

Since I signed up for the site, I’ve received emails on an almost daily basis, so hopefully members will be encouraged to access it regularly.  I’ve already signed up for the Marketing/Communications industry group and look forward to making connections with my fellow alumni there.

Hope to see you there soon!

Posted by Kerry Murphy, CPS’18

Note: We encourage you to try out NUsource and share your experiences on the platform. Here’s the link to learn more.

 

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