Menlo Releases Menlo Connect to Serve as New Community Platform


Menlo Connect, a new platform created by Director of Alumni Katherine Kelly and the Alumni Executive Committee, is available to members of the Menlo community for networking, connections and mentorship opportunities. Screengrab:

Alexander Chen, Staff Writer

Menlo Connect is a new social networking platform designed to facilitate connections within the Menlo community and offer mentorship opportunities to students and young alumni. The website has a variety of functionalities that enable alumni and students to tap into the vast network of the Menlo community. 

It was launched by Director of Alumni Katherine Kelly and the Alumni Executive Committee, which leads the planning, goal setting and execution of alumni programs.

The main page of the website includes a public feed where Menlo community members can post stories, encouraging messages or opportunities. Other pages allow users to form groups, post job opportunities, schedule events and grant mentorships. Classes, industries and interest groups can be formed by individuals and host conversations, whether it be reminiscing about the past or building new connections within an industry.

One of the website’s major focuses is the mentorship page. If they wish to share their expertise with the community, alumni may offer their advice in this space. Students and young alumni can then find mentors based on job function, company or industry. 

Alumni Executive Committee member Chasen White sees these mentorships as an opportunity for students and young alumni to learn. “For current Menlo students, it’s a great resource to connect with Menlo alumni to talk about things like colleges and internships. For Menlo alumni, it provides opportunities to receive advice on career paths, finding a job, resume review and much more. Within our Menlo community, nearly every profession is represented, allowing for a wide variety of opinions on career paths; for example, if a person was interested in going into entrepreneurship, they could receive advice from multiple entrepreneurs,” White said. “The quality of advice is incredibly high and unique, so it’s a really special offering for Menlo to be able to extend to current students and alumni.”

Other than mentorships, Menlo Connect provides young alumni and students access to a range of jobs and internships. Kelly views these internships as useful not only for young alumni. “Having that Menlo connection is really important and super valuable,” Kelly said. “Menlo alumni understand that our students graduate not only with a great education but also with tools like critical thinking, integrity [and the] ability to focus, and there’s just a lot of benefit all the way around.”

Beyond the opportunity for young alumni and students, the website also looks to heighten alumni engagement, according to Menlo alum Tucker Beim (’94). Beim, a member of the connection subcommittee, is optimistic about the website’s ability to reinvigorate alumni engagement. “Alumni can reconnect with classmates or people from different classes, and beyond that, alumni have better access to what’s going on at the school, so they can log in and see the feed on the front page to know what’s happening at school today and really foster that connection,” Beim said.

Menlo Connect was created as a replacement for Connections Beyond the Classroom (CBC), an older platform created by Menlo parent volunteers. Responding to an outcry from the alumni community for an improved website, the Alumni Executive Committee and Kelly coordinated with Menlo’s Information Technology department to create Menlo Connect, which emulates community platforms offered by many universities.

Although CBC was automatically available to students through the Fortress platform, students and alumni wishing to join Menlo Connect need to create an account themselves at

Although Menlo Connect was released last fall, the platform is still in its infancy and Menlo is looking for a hard rollout soon, according to Kelly. The platform will be presented to upperclassmen in the near future, and hard copy marketing will be sent out to certain alumni classes. Still, the alumni committee and Kelly have been extremely pleased with how the platform has progressed in its first few months and are confident that the platform will leave a lasting impact on the Menlo community. “It will provide the exact thing our community has been asking for, whether it’s older alumni, younger alumni or current students,” Kelly said.