The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

RLF Explores the Strength of Weak Ties with Prof. John Campbell

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A student directed presentation, led by Fabeah Adu-Oppong, kicked off the evening on Thursday, November 11th by educating Rockefeller Leadership Fellows about noted education reform leader Marian Wright Edelman.  The session then switched focus to a conversation via Skype with two young Dartmouth alums - Ariel Stern '05 and Oyebola Olabisi '06 - on graduate school options after Dartmouth and how to pick a program that matches ones interests and career objectives.  Then Professor of Sociology John Campbell took the floor for a presentation entitled: Careers and Networking: The Strength of Weak Ties. 

Based on the principles of Granovetter's seminal work on weak ties, he led Fellows through a summary of his professional life, demonstrating how weak ties opened doors to many of his academic positions.  He cautioned Fellows that weak ties are not guaranteed job offers, but rather extra assistance in the search process.  The session then turned to an interactive activity, as the Fellows collectively decided on a list of the top ten strategies for establishing these weak ties.  To conclude, Professor Campbell sparked a discussion on the ethics of networking that left Fellows continuing the conversation long after the official end of the session.

-- Karen Doster '11

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