McKelvey CNX (Stands for “Community Network Exchange” and pronounced as “connects”)
Available to all McKelvey Engineering students, from 1st-year to seniors/4-year students.
Women & Engineering CNX
Available to members of the W&E Leadership Society.
Dual Degree CNX
Available to transfer students earning a liberal arts degree who plan to earn an additional bachelor’s degree in engineering at WashU.
WashU enlisted PeopleGrove’s managed services team for their formal mentoring programs, effectively augmenting their existing team with PeopleGrove program management experts to oversee day-to-day operations. McKelvey Engineering faculty and staff aren’t able to dedicate the time required to set up and run an ongoing mentorship program—let alone three. “One of the criteria for us [in selecting a vendor] is that we need a little bit of hand-holding,” said Emily. “Every person on our team already has a full-time job. If we didn’t have PeopleGrove, and especially [PeopleGrove’s Head of Mentoring Programs] Caitlin and the team, we would have to hire someone.”
However, Emily didn’t want to be completely hands-off, either. She still needed visibility and control over setup and implementation—aspects of program management that were lacking previously. “It was nice to be able to actually go into the platform, see the emails, test them myself, or change the text directly if I wanted to,” Emily recalled.
Accelerated time to value
PeopleGrove’s managed services team typically gets a formal mentoring program up and running in six weeks, from kickoff to match. With the timing of WashU’s program launch coinciding with the winter holiday season, the process took a bit longer than usual. Nevertheless, they began setup at the end of November, launched the platform to their users in January, and matched in early February.
Sophisticated matching algorithms
Because the McKelvey Engineering team had already managed the three formal mentoring programs for several years, they knew what their students were looking for in a mentor. “Our students really want to be matched with an alumnus who is in a similar field as the one they’re interested in pursuing,” Emily shared.
Participants were matched based on factors such as Major, Personal Interests, Engineering Field of Interest or Expertise, Ethnicity, Gender Identity, and more. (Naturally, any students in the Dual Degree program were matched with a dual degree alumnus.)
“That’s a big difference we’ve seen with PeopleGrove—the quality of the matches has been very good,” Emily said. Not only is the quality improved, but her team is also thrilled with the volume of connections resulting from those high-quality matches. “67% of users having a two-way connection is great — I’m very happy with this result. Before using PeopleGrove, we would see a bunch of people sign up but only half would actually participate.”