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Leeds Network – FAQs 

1.    How does the Leeds Network work?

The Leeds Network is a secure online database of Leeds alumni who have provided career profiles or have agreed to answer career-related questions.

Access to the Network is restricted to Leeds students, recent graduates (last 5 years) and University staff. All these groups can search and look at the career profiles on the database, but only students and recent graduates can contact alumni to ask career-related questions. 

The majority of users will just want to look at and gain inspiration from the career profiles—for example, if you have studied the same degree as them or are working in the profession that they hope to enter.

Some users will have specific questions and will value the opportunity of getting first hand insight and advice from volunteers who have selected upon sign-up to receive online questions by email.

Initial contact by the student/graduate is through a proxy email which does not disclose your contact details. When you reply to an enquiry, however, your email does not remain hidden and all further correspondence is through personal emails. 

In most cases all communication will be via email. Telephone or face-to-face meetings will be at your discretion.

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2.    Am I the sort of volunteer you want to provide a career profile or provide online advice?

Leeds students and graduates are interested in finding out about:

  • all professions and industries
  • companies and businesses of all shapes and sizes, from multinationals to co-operatives and from large limited companies to SMEs
  • working in countries all around the globe
  • starting their own business

So whatever you do and wherever you live, there will be students and graduates who could find your career profile interesting and would value being able to tap into your knowledge and expertise.

Insight into successfully making the first step onto the career ladder is particularly valuable, so even if you are just 6 months into your first job you will have important experiences to share.

If advice is sought about something on which you do not feel you have the experience to advise, you should recognise this and refer the enquirer back to the University of Leeds Careers Centre.

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3.      I’m interested in providing a career profile—what does it involve?

When you register we ask you to provide 4 short descriptive passages (max 250 words) about your career and current employment:

  • your job role
  • the best aspects of your job 
  • advice on getting into your type of work  
  • your career path since graduating from Leeds

Once you career profile has been approved by the University’s Careers Centre, it is added to the Leeds Network database to provide insight and inspiration to students and recent graduates.

Once a year we will contact you to ask you to review your profile, checking that it's up to date. But you can also update your profile at any time—see question 5 below.

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4.      I’m interested in providing online advice:

a.      What sort of things am I likely to be asked?

The Leeds Network is for questions and advice relating to careers and professional development.

When you register as a volunteer and offer to provide online advice you are asked to select the areas (from the list below) on which you are happy to answer questions:

  • Finding work in your current employment sector
  • Applications and interviews
  • Assessment centres
  • Starting a business/enterprise
  • Working overseas
  • Work shadowing with your current employer/business
  • Work experience with your current employer/business
  • Applying for an internship
  • Making the most of postgraduate study
  • Applying for jobs with your current employer/business

The Leeds Network is not a job referral network. If, for example, you are asked to help find a job or to organise a work visa please refer the applicant back to the University of Leeds Careers Centre or pass the query on to the Alumni Office.

b.      How much time will this take?

When you register as a volunteer and offer to provide online advice, you are asked to select the maximum number (1-20) of new contacts you want to receive each month though it’s worth noting that as this is still a relatively new service, you probably won't get more than about 10 or 12 contacts in the first year.

If you are happy to commit 1-2 hours per month this should easily cover a number of questions from 4 or 5 users via email, or even the occasional phone call if you are happy with this.

You can adjust your number of monthly contacts at any time (or temporarily opt out from receiving email questions) if you know that you are going to be exceptionally busy or away for a while—see question 5 below.

c.      What if I find I haven’t got time to answer a question or I feel the question is inappropriate?

We would like all users to get a reply within a week. If the question requires a long answer and you don’t have time to give a detailed reply straight away, we ask that you let them know when they might expect a full reply.

If you are feel that you will be unable to reply at all or that the question asked is inappropriate, we request that you simply forward the question on to the Alumni Office and we will reply to the enquiry.

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5.      How do I update or change my profile on the Leeds Network?

You can make changes to your profile at any time. You just need to log in to the Leeds Network. We will also contact you once a year to ask you to confirm that all your details are correct and up to date.

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6.       How do I stop providing online advice or remove my profile from the Leeds Network?

You can stop providing online advice or remove your profile The Leeds Network at any time. You just need to log in to the Leeds Network and alter your status on the ‘My Network Profile Page’.

We will also contact you once a year to confirm that you want to continue to be involved.

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7.       What is Leeds for Life?

Leeds for Life is a university-wide initiative to help every student get the most out of their time at Leeds. It helps them identify opportunities to develop and think about their skills, equipping them for life after graduation.

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