Recent grad Iris Huang ’16 uses Sallyportal to find a professional network of Owls — and a job offer — in the Bay Area.
When Iris Huang ’16 began her senior year at Rice last August, she was excited to spend another year with friends, explore career options and, with any luck, secure a job by graduation in May. She was not, however, anticipating that her graduation would come a semester early. With the challenge of networking and finding a job far sooner than expected, she turned to the Rice community for help.
Iris shares her story of how she used Sallyportal as her go-to resource for professional support, and how fellow Rice alumni rallied around her when she needed that support the most.
In November 2016, I was told I had to graduate in a month since I had finished my degree requirements early.
In a panic — I didn't have a job offer yet, but I really wanted to move to San Francisco, where I had no support network — I started actively using Sallyportal, which had just been rolled out the previous month.
Sallyportal made finding connections so much easier than LinkedIn. I knew that I wanted to move to the Bay Area, so the pool was narrowed down to about 300 alumni. After going through that list, based on what I wanted to do (tech product marketing/management), I added fellow Owls from other major cities with relevant experience.
I went through each profile and crafted an email for each person based on their experience and expertise, asking for whatever advice they were willing to give. Initially, I was nervous that there would be no responses. But, I soon began receiving warmhearted replies, providing me with helpful advice and agreeing to in-person meetings. I felt encouraged to keep reaching out to more alumni.
Using Sallyportal, I reached out to a total of 65 alumni, heard back from 42 (65 percent) and met with 20 (31 percent). They shared their life stories and gave so much inspiring career advice.
Because of these amazing Bay Area Owls, graduating early and moving to a new city on my own was no longer scary. In fact, I was so excited to move out here and meet up with them that I practically forgot to be sad about leaving my friends in Houston.
I'm very thankful to our alumni network, and encourage everyone to use Sallyportal!
Iris accepted a marketing and events position at 500 Startups, a global venture capital seed fund and accelerator in the Bay Area.
Icaro Vazquez ’96, one of the many alumni who connected with Iris through Sallyportal, was thrilled by the opportunity to help impact the professional development of a recent grad. “Iris reached out through Sallyportal and we met when she arrived in the Bay Area. She's fearless and her passion and enthusiasm are very contagious. I love helping Rice grads and Iris is already well on her way to have a very successful career here in Silicon Valley. Thanks to Sallyportal for making this connection possible!”
Iris is just one of the many students taking full advantage of Sallyportal and its amazing community. Are you looking for a job? Moving to a new city? Wanting to give younger Owls great career advice? Then get networking at sallyportal.org