Go to https://www.linkedin.com/school/university-of-wisconsin-madison/people/
Here you’ll see a searchable, sortable list of every UW-Madison alum who has a LinkedIn profile. You can search for particular people by name, job function or title, and by company. You can also limit your results to certain ranges of years; this can be helpful if you want to find recent graduates, for example.
Try adding some specific filters for location and job function (What they do). You’ll notice that as you add a filter, the total number of alumni in your search goes down and the horizontal bars update themselves. So as you search for alumni in Milwaukee who work in sales (for example), the list of top employers will update itself.
Pro tip: this is a great way to identify a shortlist of companies to target in your own job search.
If you select one of those companies, the list of alumni below the bar graphs will also update itself. LinkedIn will display these alumni in order of connection strength, meaning that your direct connections will show up first, then your 2nd-degree connections, then 3rd degree, etc. In order for this tool to work well for you, it’s really important to have as many connections as possible! Start with family, friends, professors, peers, and employers, and then build from there.
Pro tip: if you’re logged in to LinkedIn and you visit someone’s profile, they’ll be able to see that you viewed it. If you don’t know them yet this can seem weird, but there is a way to creep on their profile without them knowing. Just open an Incognito browser window and search the name of the person and their company – their LinkedIn profile will probably be near the top of the search results, and you can view it there without them knowing that you were lurking.
Now, clear the search to get back to the whole list of alumni. Click the ‘Next >’ button on the top-right corner of the page. Choose your major from the list to narrow the search. If you can’t find your major in the list, try typing in some portion of it in the search box, hit enter, and then choose it from the list (e.g. search for ‘Jewish,’ then click on ‘Jewish/Judaic Studies’ in the list, then click on the blue box to remove ‘Jewish’ from the filter list).
Click the ‘< Previous’ button to return to the prior view. You’re now viewing a list of the top locations, companies, and job functions of alumni from your particular major. This can be really helpful to get a sense of what sorts of jobs your major might lead to, as well as giving you a more specific connection to any alumni you might want to reach out to.
Adding multiple filter items from different lists (i.e. a location and a company) will usually make your list shrink because you’re showing alumni who fit BOTH criteria. Adding multiple filter items from the same list (i.e. two locations) will make your list grow because you’re showing alumni who fit EITHER criteria.
So, you’ve found some alumni you’d like to learn from…now, what do you do? Contact them! We’ll help you write that message or prepare for that phone call. Learn everything you need to know about making contact with your fellow Badgers in the Reach Out section!