Discussion threads vary in a LinkedIn group that's exclusively available to University of Colorado graduates ranging from a young professional looking for a roommate in the Los Angeles area to a plug for cookbook written by a half dozen guys who attended the school.

CU is among a dozen universities across the country that have joined in an official partnership with the popular and professional social media platform. The new partnership is an experiment, but within the first week, the number of people who have joined the official CU-Boulder group on LinkedIn has increased by more than 5,000 to about 25,000.

Ken McConnellogue, CU system spokesman, said being a part of the group could lead to new mentorship opportunities or career advancement.

The partnership doesn't cost CU any money, and it could be a way for the university's fundraising arm to better connect with its alumni as the school is in the midst of a $1.5 billion "Creating Futures" campaign. For example, university officials could search for graduates of CU's business school if they were launching a scholarship program for marketing students.

The agreement between LinkedIn and CU also can help the university plan where to hold alumni events across the country and invite graduates.

A database-matching process will provide public user profile links to CU, tying the LinkedIn records with CU's databases.

"It's another arrow in our quiver of what we offer our alumni," McConnellogue said.


Lisa Severy, director of Career Services at CU, said her office's LinkedIn group has more than 3,600 members and is hoping the partnership will help grow those numbers.

"Moving to New York and need some advice? Search LinkedIn for Buffs there. Always wanted to work for a certain company, but don't know how to get a foot in the door? Search LinkedIn for Buffs in that company," Severy said. "Once you have a critical mass of fellow CU grads in a group, the possibilities are amazing."

Severy said career counselors are able to review and critique LinkedIn profiles just as they do resumes.

LinkedIn has more than 200 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. About 20 million of the social media site's members are university students or graduates.

Other universities involved in the partnership include the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Syracuse University, University of Rochester, Wharton, Brigham Young University, Hult International Business School, Rensselaer, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of California's San Diego campus.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or anasb@dailycamera.com.