The Wellesley Network Grows Stronger with the Launch of The Wellesley Hive
Wellesley’s more than 35,000 alumnae and 2,300 students make up one of the world’s most powerful women’s networks, one that helps them discover their voices, envision the lives they want to lead, and find support as they navigate various stages in their careers and personal lives.
To facilitate access to this extensive resource, Career Education and the Wellesley College Alumnae Association (WCCA) have created an online platform—called The Wellesley Hive—that launches today, May 30. Designed exclusively for Wellesley, the platform lets students and alumnae interact to ask questions, seek guidance, and coach and inspire each other, and as well as find paths toward their professional goals. Users can also connect with faculty members for advice and mentorship.
“As we worked to redesign Career Education at Wellesley, it became clear our alumnae and students wanted a way to connect with each other,” said Christine Cruzvergara, associate provost and executive director for Career Education. “Over the past year, we’ve been working collaboratively with the WCAA and an amazing working group of alums from across the country and internationally to provide this platform as a way of activating the formidable Wellesley network!”
Key features of The Wellesley Hive include the ability to search for and connect with other alumnae as a mentor, mentee, or both; choose involvement levels—from a “flash,” or one-time, meeting to a longer, sustained period of time; and manage time commitments as a mentor. Members can post job, fellowship, and internship announcements or search for opportunities shared by other alumnae and students. They can also discover and post event listings such as networking mixers and conferences; join discussion groups to connect with others who share their career interests and identities; and learn to form meaningful mentorship relationships through digital resources.
“The customization and search options of The Hive are unparalleled,” said Jen Pollard, director of operations and analytics for Career Education. “Users can search and connect around areas of interest, geographic location, expertise, Wellesley experiences, and much more. The Hive brings this remarkable network of students and alumnae together while celebrating all that makes Wellesley diverse and unique.”
“Wellesley alumnae love to help current students and one another, and our students in particular really need and deserve that connection. It is an important part of Wellesley’s promise,” said Missy Siner Shea ’89, executive director of the WCAA. “This mentorship program is going to be a welcome addition.”
Alumnae were instrumental in developing every aspect of The Hive, including its philosophy of mentorship, which emphasizes the importance of developing a personal advisory board and building relationships with multiple mentors who balance a participant’s interests, strengths, weaknesses, and career goals.
In July 2016, seven alumnae and two students joined a mentorship working group with staff from the WCAA and Career Education. The generationally and geographically diverse group held biweekly conference calls and met on campus for intensive work sessions in November and February. Together, they developed the flexible mentorship approach, researched and selected a networking software platform, and chose the name after a series of conversations with students and alumnae. (“Hive” evokes a smart, evolved network whose members can work together and support one another.)
In March 2017, roughly 450 alumnae and 150 students tested the platform and provided feedback.
“The Wellesley Hive is unique in its breadth, depth, and scope. It fills a void and fulfills a desire that was often expressed and shared across the Wellesley alumnae community,” said Lauren Flamer ’05, who co-chaired the mentorship working group with Susan Harmon ’67. “I work at Harvard Business School, and I have benefited from mentorship myself. I am truly thrilled to see the months of hard work, diligence, and dedication come to fruition.”
Simone Liano ’17, who served on the mentorship working group, echoes those remarks. “As a student, I’ve benefited greatly from the advice and guidance of several mentors who were Wellesley alumnae,’ she said. “The Hive will make the Wellesley Network more effective and tangible than ever before. Everyone has something to gain from this resource, whether you are looking for a job, have no idea what you want to do in the future, or simply want to meet new members of the Wellesley Community.”
Career Education and WCAA would like to thank everyone who helped make The Wellesley Hive possible, especially the members of the mentorship working group: Lauren Flamer ’05 and Susan Harmon ’67, co-chairs; Julie Bennett ’01, Kate Erickson ’05, Laura Ellis Griffith ’93, Sherry Holland ’66, Dominique Huang ’19, Simone Liano ’17, and Alice Yurke ’84.