Getting Graduates Connected to the Job World


By Meghan (Canning) Musante ’02

Strong marks, challenging internships, and volunteer assignments may not be enough to land a job in this unprecedented environment. For Class of 2020 graduates, many are leaning on social media as a means of outreach.

Recent Westfield State University alumni like Joshua Diaz ’20 and Kaylee Bayersdorfer ’20 have found the timing for job hunting to be dismal. Diaz, a criminal justice major with a political science minor, is heavily relying on LinkedIn to keep his motivation levels up. Bayersdorfer, an English major, is, too.

Both recent graduates are asking people—especially fellow Westfield State alumni—to connect, have a conversation about their respective fields, and maybe help arrange their next phone call.

Diaz and Bayersdorfer took part in the Westfield State Career Center’s Ready to Work social media campaign, a first-of-its-kind in the nation. Career Center Director Junior Delgado and staff launched the program in mid-April, and dozens of colleges and universities across the nation followed their lead.

“Since the campaign was the first in the country, we got immediate publicity,” says Delgado. “It was such a simple concept, but it’s really taken off.”

The Ready to Work posts are shared from the Westfield State University Careers group page on LinkedIn, which alumni are encouraged to join. Each post on social media shares the graduate’s name, location, major, and personalized LinkedIn profile link, such as

“The shortened URL is important,” says Delgado. “But it’s also about the student sharing on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and always linking back to LinkedIn. The more exposure, the better.”

The first Ready to Work share captured 11,000 views and nearly 150 comments for biology and health sciences student Grace Brunner. For Massara Almafrachi ’20, a business management and marketing graduate interested in fundraising, it connected her to Justin Connolly ’16, now a fund officer at Rhode Island School of Design.

The campaign’s success prompted Career Center staff to expand the reach to include Ready to Teach, specifically for future teachers, and Celebrate WSU, for students who have secured jobs or are headed to graduate school in the fall.

For Diaz, Bayersdorfer, Almafrachi, and so many others, Delgado hopes this program helps them learn about different industries and organizations, meet new people, and connect with interested alumni.

“It only takes that one connection to land your first job or take that next step,” he says.


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