Alumni have strong connections and networks that can greatly benefit placements. Rather than relying on traditional methods of bringing companies to the institution, the loyal alumni can be engaged to tailor placements for their juniors. With their deep sense of nostalgia for the institution and relevant experience in the industry, alumni can strategically leverage their networks to benefit both students and the institution. Students find it easier to interact with the alumni as they share the same foundation as their seniors. Alumni can navigate the up-and-coming undergraduates through a sea of options from which they can choose what suits them best. Let’s explore some of the well-known techniques that will help you leverage your alumni to the fullest!
Maintaining a Diverse Alumni Database
This is something that every institution does to maintain details about their alumni. But, do you know you can tune a bit to cater to the needs of your students? Keeping track of the alumni who are upscaling regularly in their respective industries and updating their details such as job positions, achievements, contact information, and offering direct access to students will help the latter interact with them. Alumni can offer first-hand information about all the recent job offerings and industry-related updates that will help students be in the loop.
You can leverage alumni networks / platforms to let students know about the current placement openings in the institution. Create focused groups on these mediums where students can directly interact with their seniors.
Foster Early Alumni Connections
Instilling a great sense of belonging and gratefulness can go a long way in the life of a student. Treat the emotion just right, they will strive to do something for the institution that shaped their crucial years of life. Encourage establishing relations between alumni and students in the early years of their graduation. Create events and avenues where the alumni feel welcome to give seminars about the current trends in their respective fields. Invite the alumni as guest lecturers as well, this will be like a breath of fresh air for students as they get exposed to new styles of teaching and perspectives from those who are actually in the industry.
Encourage alumni to offer internships, and short-term projects to the students in their ultimate or penultimate graduation years. This will serve as a precursor to the full-time placements and they will get hands-on experience which will make securing a placement much easier.
Hosting Regular Alumni Events
Hosting alumni events can be a fantastic way to let students familiarize themselves with the diverse alumni that their institution produces. Let your alumni and students get to know each other. Create a space where both alumni and students can let their hair down and discuss anything like friends would do. This reminds alumni about everything they experienced in their schooling years and can see themselves from the student’s perspective.
Conduct special career fairs and networking events where students can interact not only with the alumni but also with the professionals from the industry. This can even lead to job referrals for students and informal mentorship from their distinguished alumni.
Alumni Mentoring for Students
Alumni, who were students once, walked through the arduous procedure of placements where they had to make resumes, write cover letters, sit through hours of mock interview sessions, and apply to different companies. The whole process can be a bit overwhelming for the present students as well. You can encourage the alumni to ease their placement anxiety by hosting mentor sessions. The mentors and mentees can come together to discuss, improve, and enhance their technical, social, and communication skills.
Mentors can help their mentees (present students) in improving their resumes and can guide them on what skills to learn which can be a deal breaker in their interviews. Not only this, the alumni can hold mock interview sessions, technical seminars, and small workshops where the students can cultivate and enhance skills that coincide with the current trends of industries.
To understand more how Alumni can shape the Student Development, read here – What Role do Alumni Play in Student Development?
Highlighting Alumni’s Success Stories
Every human being has the yearning to be acknowledged and appreciated, this even applies to the distinguished alumni who are the trailblazers of their respective industries. Comb through your alumni database and filter such people whose successes were career-defining. Highlight their accomplishments and feature them on your institution’s website, social media handles, and alumni portals. Make them feel heard. Expose your students to such success stories. This will create an impetus for them to dig more into the lives of the alumni and simultaneously explore the career opportunities, insights, and trends in the industry as well.
Collect testimonials from successful alumni about their campus and educational experiences and how these experiences have contributed to their professional achievements.
Feedback Mechanism and Post-Placement Surveys
Feedback plays an important role in improving the campus placement process. It can bring new perspectives and suggestions to the table as the students and alumni who participate in this mechanism will give you their piece of mind to bring out a better version of the whole placement procedure. Let alumni give curriculum suggestions that can be industry-relevant. Don’t neglect the students who got placed as well. They will be the future alumni of your institution. Also, seek feedback from the employers as they can give a clear picture of what skills can be improved and what else can be incorporated.
Alumni have the potential to solve the problem of Employability. Listen to CEO, Mr. Paresh Masade speak on how that can be done here –
Effectively leveraging alumni for placements is a process that requires significant patience and sustained effort. By creating a sense of belonging, taking feedback, hosting events, and forging long-term relationships with the alumni, the institutions can improve the placement results and contribute to the success of your students.