Presenter Information

Matt OriansFollow

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Terry Leap

Department (e.g. History, Chemistry, Finance, etc.)

Management

College (e.g. College of Engineering, College of Arts & Sciences, Haslam College of Business, etc.)

Haslam College of Business

Year

2016

Abstract

My thesis project is looking at how recent college graduates can utilize social capital to better adapt to their new business setting. By social capital, I mean the networks and relationships one builds with those around them. Social capital is used to build mutually beneficial relationships,and these connections can be very influential in a young professional’s career, among other things. The foundation of social capital also has an influence on an individual’s fondness and attachment to their current city and company. If they successfully cultivate social capital, the individual will better acclimate to their current city and company.

I am interested in looking at this because I have an accepted an offer with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas, and I have no prior contacts there. I will have to develop a whole new network of relationships, while those who live or attended school in Texas might already know people there.

In order to look at how this can be done, I interview former Global Leadership Scholars students who graduated last year or the year before, so the classes of 2015 and 2014. They fall in one of the four quadrants (shown at the end of this document). I ask them various questions about their first three months on the job in their city and location, and I use QDA miner, (after the interviews have been transcribed), to highlight the similarities and differences between the different quadrants. I want to know what can make any person more successful in the adaptation, not just one type of person.

I am not planning on directly asking how they developed their social networks. In a kind of qualitative and quantitative way, I plan on getting them to open-up and talk about their experiences without me directly asking them.

Examples of questions include:

1. Dividing their day into buckets, both on weekdays and weekends.

2. Any specific turning points in their adjustment to their host city and company.

3. The extent of their socialization outside of work.

4. The friendliness of their office.

As far as potential results, I hope to uncover reoccurring themes that help build their social capital. I believe that I will find that:

• Building social capital plays a significant role in a new college graduate’s attachment to the current city and company

• Social capital is key in forming professional relationships

• Emotional attachment plays a large role in the fondness of their city and organization.

• There may be idiosyncratic factors and self-representation bias in some of the interviews.

Past literature has not specifically touched on how recent college graduates utilize social capital. It has, however, looked on how other various groups utilize social capital both in and out of the workplace. Literature has looked at:

• Gender roles

• Business relationships in Asia

• Buyer’s willingness to pay

• Online Social Networking in the workplace

• International students and their attachment to their host city

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Creating networks for success: social capital and recent college graduates

My thesis project is looking at how recent college graduates can utilize social capital to better adapt to their new business setting. By social capital, I mean the networks and relationships one builds with those around them. Social capital is used to build mutually beneficial relationships,and these connections can be very influential in a young professional’s career, among other things. The foundation of social capital also has an influence on an individual’s fondness and attachment to their current city and company. If they successfully cultivate social capital, the individual will better acclimate to their current city and company.

I am interested in looking at this because I have an accepted an offer with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas, and I have no prior contacts there. I will have to develop a whole new network of relationships, while those who live or attended school in Texas might already know people there.

In order to look at how this can be done, I interview former Global Leadership Scholars students who graduated last year or the year before, so the classes of 2015 and 2014. They fall in one of the four quadrants (shown at the end of this document). I ask them various questions about their first three months on the job in their city and location, and I use QDA miner, (after the interviews have been transcribed), to highlight the similarities and differences between the different quadrants. I want to know what can make any person more successful in the adaptation, not just one type of person.

I am not planning on directly asking how they developed their social networks. In a kind of qualitative and quantitative way, I plan on getting them to open-up and talk about their experiences without me directly asking them.

Examples of questions include:

1. Dividing their day into buckets, both on weekdays and weekends.

2. Any specific turning points in their adjustment to their host city and company.

3. The extent of their socialization outside of work.

4. The friendliness of their office.

As far as potential results, I hope to uncover reoccurring themes that help build their social capital. I believe that I will find that:

• Building social capital plays a significant role in a new college graduate’s attachment to the current city and company

• Social capital is key in forming professional relationships

• Emotional attachment plays a large role in the fondness of their city and organization.

• There may be idiosyncratic factors and self-representation bias in some of the interviews.

Past literature has not specifically touched on how recent college graduates utilize social capital. It has, however, looked on how other various groups utilize social capital both in and out of the workplace. Literature has looked at:

• Gender roles

• Business relationships in Asia

• Buyer’s willingness to pay

• Online Social Networking in the workplace

• International students and their attachment to their host city