Alum Chris Keller (Jones ’13) shares tips for getting the most from Sallyportal
Just two months after its Oct. 12 launch, the Sallyportal community has grown to more than 5,000 users from 45 states and over 60 countries (see the progress report below)! The message board is active with Owls giving career advice, posting jobs for experienced hires, asking questions and supporting each other in professional development endeavors.
We spoke with Chris Keller ’13, a member of the Initiative for Students Commission and one of the many active Sallyportal users, about his experiences making connections and becoming involved as a mentor.
You’ve had a big presence on Sallyportal. What motivated you to join and become involved?
As a "Texpat" living in Florida, I was curious to know if a platform like this would be successful given I'm no longer in the Houston area to meet up in-person after the initial connection via Sallyportal. Within the first two weeks of Sallyportal being live, however, I had already connected with one current student and two alumni as a mentor.
After exchanging emails with the student, we spoke on the phone about careers and job opportunities, and I'm currently helping him tailor his resume and cover letters to the kinds of opportunities he's seeking. All from my couch in Florida! Without Sallyportal, I'm not sure I would have had these kinds of quality, worthwhile interactions. Sallyportal makes staying in touch with the university community so much easier.
What is your favorite feature of Sallyportal?
Apart from the modern feel of the general user interface, I really like the message board. During the brainstorming sessions with the Initiative for Students back in April 2016, one of the things we talked about was the addictiveness of the "newsfeed" feature on popular social media platforms like Facebook and, importantly, how the concept is popular among younger and older generations, i.e., both current students and alumni.
The message board enables the kind of interactions I'm looking for as an alum — to scroll through posts from both students and fellow alumni, "like" them so that other users can see posts with lots of "likes" and start conversations through the comments section.
What advice would you give to your fellow mentors?
Talk to your friends, peers, staff connections, current students and family about Sallyportal. Whether you are interested in helping the next generation of Owls, looking to fill a job requisition at your company or starting a new career or business venture, there are so many different, constructive ways this network can be leveraged that you probably didn't know were possible prior to having this tool available to you.
Also, get familiar with the search tools on the "Connect" tab — you can find people by their geographic location, career background, undergraduate or graduate degree program, and the list goes on. It's the fastest way to find exactly the kind of connection you're looking for.
Login to sallyportal.org today and begin making your own connections!