Need career guidance? Eager to stay in touch with your former roommate? Want to peruse recent research on heart disease—or hedge funds? Then take a stroll through HoosOnline.
Born more than a decade ago but redesigned and updated last fall, the site is more than just another pretty Facebook.
“I often call it a good place to explore,” says Zachary Wheat, UVA’s director of interactive media.
More than 71,000 users—400 to 600 log in on a typical weekday—have registered on the site, designed specifically for members of the UVA community. “It allows people to stay in touch with the University, and it allows the University to stay in touch, too,” Wheat says.
Here’s a look at some of HoosOnline’s resources:
HoosNetwork: A social networking platform where you can post photos, express interests, scour job listings, share news or just hang out. “It’s like walking into a party or a club, and you’ve got your name tag on,” Wheat says.
Alumni directory: The online equivalent of a UVA alumni phonebook that lists names, schools, graduation dates—but nothing that will compromise security. “That’s something we take very seriously,” says Wheat.
Career Center: This multifaceted site is one of the most heavily used parts of HoosOnline. The University Career Assistance Network, known as UCAN, provides access to alumni who have volunteered to serve as mentors or job contacts. The site also has links to UVA Clubs, CavLink (for young alumni) and to Alumni Association Career Services.
Vmail: No matter where you go, you can stay connected—for life. The Google-based system has attracted 13,000 new users since being upgraded in September and is much more reliable than the previous e-mail-forwarding setup.
EBSCOhost research library: Four databases serve as online libraries with volumes about art, science, literature, medicine and business in a variety of formats—trade publications, scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers and searchable databases.
E-newsletters: With two clicks of a mouse you can subscribe to newsletters ranging from Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball to daily reports from UVA Today.