In a strategic agreement with LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network, Michigan State University is the first to join LinkedIn’s College Pilot Program. The program promises to enhance LinkedIn’s value for MSU students and alumni and strengthen the relationship between MSU and the thousands of Spartans who network through the platform.

“We are excited for MSU to take a leading role among higher education institutions,” said Robert Groves, vice president for Advancement and Alumni Relations at MSU. “As we continue to work closely with LinkedIn, our alumni will have the benefit of being at the cutting edge for innovation in career development opportunities within a well-respected professional network.”

As a pilot partner, MSU will help LinkedIn provide better value to students and alumni, Groves said. In turn, members of the MSU Alumni LinkedIn group will receive training on how to use key LinkedIn product features – such as job and internship listings – to help advance their careers.

MSU’s alumni group is one of the largest university alumni groups on LinkedIn with more than 23,000 members, Groves said.

The MSU-LinkedIn collaboration is the result of the university’s advanced use of LinkedIn as a tool for career development, Groves said. John Hill, director of alumni career services, has given more than 500 presentations on how to use LinkedIn to increase employability.

“LinkedIn is focused on helping professionals – and aspiring professionals – find fulfilling careers, connect and engage with colleagues and build their professional reputations,” said Christina Allen, director of product management at LinkedIn. “Teaming up with MSU and other colleges is a great way for us to explore the needs of students and alumni, and help them achieve long-term success and professional growth.”