Project Mix: Virtual networking

Shubhaya Sinha
Shubhaya Sinha
Hi! I am a digital product designer, my work focuses on finding unique value at the intersection of what people need and technological strengths.
Thesis Faculty
Katherine Moriwaki
Andrew Zornoza
David Carroll
Chris Prentice

Project Mix is a school specific networking platform meant to connect alumni and current students for the purpose of growing their professional network.

Methods of growing a professional network have been blurry for a while, there is no sure shot or recognized way of going about this. Cold calling someone on LinkedIn might not always yield a response, on the other hand it could leave some people overwhelmed with connection requests. For students, not having anybody for guidance in their immediate circle might make this task intimidating. With the added constraints imposed by the pandemic, the ability to meet at an in-person networking event or meeting someone for a cup of coffee seems out of question.

In this new situation, how might industry professionals connect with their peers and with students seeking advice in a way that is quick and interesting?

Internships can be seen as another kind of mentorship experience. Students who are excited to prove themselves and grow their skills, might be at the risk of being exploited. How might the power dynamic between a mentor and a student be broken up so both parties involved feel equally valued and gain something substantial from this connection?

A key feature of the platform is a virtual event called a Mixer, where participants will be paired at random for a video chat for a duration decided by the admin, say 15 minutes. On shuffling the event, participants will be paired with other randomly selected people attending the event, and so on.

This event would allow alumni or mentors to connect with incoming students, and because of random pairing at times these connections will also be made between two mentors or two students.

This event will give those participating an opportunity to put a face and a personality to the person they are interacting with. When people with common interests meet on this platform and they are able to form a friendly connection, they can continue the conversation through private messages. This is an attempt to move away from formal emails and LinkedIn messages, and creating situations where people are able to have face to face conversations.

Event invitations as they would appear in the events tab (on the left). An example of a question a mentor can choose to answer to be posted on the app's Home page (on the right).

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