UND athletics to enhance career development, mentorship connections through grafted partnership

Grand Forks – The University of North Dakota is proud to announce a new partnership with Charlotte, N.C.-based company, Grafted, to launch The North Dakota Network. NoDak Net, as it will be known, will serve as an incubator for career development and mentorships between current UND student-athletes and UND athletics alumni. UND leadership hopes that the new mobile app will help enhance the department’s career exploration and readiness efforts to give every student-athlete an opportunity to experience life-changing mentorship.

“We could not be more excited to roll out NoDak Net to our student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Bill Chaves. “This is an initiative that we have been working on for some time and it will fit nicely into our suite of career enhancement opportunities, so that when our student-athletes look to transition from UND, they have a tremendous network in place already as well as having an already built-in group to explore lifelong learning.”

Mike Mannausau, Vice President of Development, UND Alumni Association Foundation, added, “The NoDak Net platform will reinforce an already strong athletic alumni connection to their respective sports and UND athletics. We also look forward to sharing and providing resources to our student-athletes once their playing days are complete.”

“The networking and career development potential with the NoDak Net app will greatly assist our student-athletes with their career exploration and prepare them for their future professional endeavors,” Director of Student-Athlete Development, Tyler Burmeister, said. “We have received positive feedback from our student-athlete leadership groups and are excited to work with our alumni to fully developing The North Dakota Network.”

What to Expect on the NoDak Net App

When Fighting Hawk student-athletes and alumni download and log in to the NoDak Net app, they will enter a custom-tailored career exploration and networking community. After creating a brief user profile, they will see a custom video feed, supplied with highly relevant content based on the topics they express interest in. Similar to apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, the Grafted platform supplies a constant stream of content, adapting to each user’s behavior on the app.

All content within the NoDak Net app is created by its users. Alumni and students will have the opportunity to record short videos answering prompts about topics related to athlete outcomes and careers. Those videos are then instantly added to the library of content on the app, available for others to view on-demand. App administrators can also host live “broadcast” events where users submit questions for a guest to answer, and then each of those answers is spliced and packaged into a searchable video on the platform.

NoDak Net will also make it easy for athletes and alumni to directly connect with each other. According to Grafted co-founder Tim Layer, the platform was designed with messaging simplicity in mind. “You don’t realize how cluttered a site like LinkedIn is until you have to find someone you don’t know. It can be overwhelming for athletes who may already feel out of their element,” he said. “By building a platform exclusively for athletes and alumni, we can break down the barriers that keep athletes from making life-changing connections.”

Next steps for UND Athletes and Alumni

UND student-athletes and alumni are encouraged to download the NoDak Net app from the Google Store or the App Store. UND Athletics and the UND Alumni Foundation are actively adding current student-athletes, and alumni can download the app, create a profile, and get started creating transformational career enhancement content.


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