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Platform helps students, universities and employers across the world network

By Zachary Araki
On October 10, 2017

The networking platform Ulinq launched in late September to connect universities, students, faculty, alumni and employers globally.

The name derives from university linking. Founder Ryan O’Connell believes Ulinq satisfies a need for higher education networking.

“With a platform like Ulinq, that’s really promoting and putting emphasis behind hard work, accomplishment and academic emphasis, artistic emphasis, athletic emphasis, we saw a gap there, and we figured there’s an opportunity,” said O’Connell. “There’s a vast community of not only students going to college and university nationally, but a community of alumni that have gone to university as well as faculty and professors and then there’s a vast community of high school students not only in this country but throughout the world.”

O’Connell drew inspiration for Ulinq from observations he made while working with marketing and advertising for higher education.

“I began to notice a consistency among schools that they did a very good job of communicating with their constituents, their student body and their alumni,” said O’Connell. “But, there wasn’t a whole lot of inter-university communication throughout the country and throughout the world. So, the idea for Ulinq was basically inspired by this notion of connecting students beyond the borders of their campuses. So, a student per se that was studying photography at UCLA can connect with a student at NYU and a student in Berlin and a student in Sydney, Australia. It kind of culminated from this idea of community amongst higher education and students, and then it fostered into various other avenues as far as marketplace and connecting students with recruiters before they graduate.”

According to O’Connell, Ulinq’s sole focus on higher education distinguishes it from other networking platforms.

“It’s primarily geared toward that motivated, enthusiastic student who really wants to get out there, make a name for themselves, collaborate with their international colleagues and around the country colleagues, their peers,” said O’Connell. “Let’s say, that will become their future colleagues, and really networking, bringing together this intellectual of the world primarily focused on those students that are career focused. The students that are going to school to kind of slip by, do as little as possible and party as much as possible, there’s plenty of avenues out there for them to post and interact with different social networks.”

Ulinq includes a built-in resume builder and an online portfolio for students to promote their accomplishments.

“If it’s a photographer studying photography on Ulinq, obviously they would post their pictures,” said O’Connell. “If it’s a student studying violin at Juilliard New York, they could post audio clips of their recordings or video footage of their concerts. Athletes have the opportunity to post highlight clips of certain teams, good plays, potentially for recruiting purposes, so it really gives students a platform to reach out to the world in a very respected and professional environment as well as the opportunity to collaborate not only with other students on their campus but students on other campuses across the world as well as faculty, professors and alumni.”

O’Connell explained how universities and students can use Ulinq.

“The best application would be for the entire university to gravitate toward it and start to use it primarily as an inter-university communication platform,” said O’Connell. “Schools can use it to reach out to constituents, reach out to students and alumni. They can also use it as a platform to communicate with prospective students, students that are looking at a particular university, and whilst they’re are looking at several others, it gives the high school student the opportunity to communicate with not only students that go to that school but professors and faculty as well as admissions and alumni.”

O’Connell also intends for students to connect with employers on Ulinq to find employment in their field.

“A lot of business leaders in the private sector want to have more interaction with the university curriculum so that students have a better sense where they need to be to become a successful candidate for particular positions and also giving them the opportunity to get access and exposure to recruiters in their sophomore, junior, senior years and start posting up their accomplishments and giving the recruiter the opportunity to see who are the most likely candidates to fill that position,” said O’Connell.

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