A LinkedIn Success Story

Rebecca Burriss '07
Publishing Assistant, HowStuffWorks.com

Francis Lavelle '94 and
Rebecca Burriss '07

"I graduated from Wofford in 2007 with a degree in Theatre and English. After teaching English for two years, I began seeking other employment. I knew I wanted to work in a field that utilized my English degree as well as my experience with HTML and web design.

First, I used linkup.com to search for jobs in Atlanta, GA (my now husband was employed in the area), and after days of empty searches, I found the perfect job – a new Publishing Assistant position at HowStuffWorks.com, a website that I had frequented and a property of Discovery Communications. The job description and company were exactly what I was looking for, but I figured there would be a lot of competition for a position with such a prestigious media company. Still, I was confident in my abilities and qualifications – if I could just get an interview with them.

On a whim, and not really expecting to find anything, I searched LinkedIn for employees at HowStuffWorks.com – and to my surprise, I found one. Francis Lavelle was a fellow Wofford graduate and we were connected via the Wofford Alumni Network group. I could hardly believe it – what a coincidence! I eagerly wrote him a message on the social network about the position. (I was sure to stress that I had attended Wofford – I think I even included “Go Terriers!” at the end just to drive it home.)

To my surprise, he wrote me back a few days later, saying he had forwarded my information to the Vice President of Publishing and Analytics. After two interviews, HowStuffWorks.com offered me the position, and I have been working here since June 2009.

On my first day at work, Francis came by my desk to introduce himself and congratulate me, and he told me how much it impressed him that I had found and contacted him. He explained that I had earned the position based on my interview, but I knew that I would never have had the chance to prove myself without the network connection provided by Wofford and LinkedIn."