It was the day Stanford’s regular admission results came out. Rohit was very delighted to check his inbox. He was one of the many who wished to pursue their master’s at “Stanford University”. As soon as he got the confirmation, he made sure to convey his gratitude to his Alumnus who has been his constant mentor and made his long-cherished dream come true.
This might be the story of many students of your institution with active Alumni Networks. Having an Engaged Alumni Network is as beneficial to current students as it is for Alumni and the institutions. Access to approach their alumni will definitely reap more benefits for Students, both instantaneously and in the long run. Here are some advantages for students to take note of –
- Campus Awareness – Although all the institutions are driven by the same fundamentals, the way they take it forward differs. Current students who have just joined may not be completely aware of information such as the culture of the institution, the campus traditions, etc. Alumni can also help with regular curriculum on how to connect with faculty and how to deal with work pressure and extracurricular activities. These small tips can be of great use to the students and can help steer their time at the institution more efficiently and productively.
- Scholarships – Student groups interacting with Alumni promote fundraising that can be used for Scholarships to current students. The more students interact with the Alumni, the more the chances of acquiring the scholarship. Although the Alumni can not provide themselves with one such scholarship, they can always guide their mentees on how to get one.
- Career Choices – Alumni are a huge treasure of knowledge, experience, and skills. They can help students right from curriculum to career discussions. Be it higher education or getting into a job, students can learn a lot about the latest trends, opportunities, and challenges by interacting with their Alumni. This correspondence will help in narrowing their options and make the choice of the right career path.
- Placement Guidance – Active involvement with the alumni provides guidance to the current students in their professional lives. Alumni can aid students in reviewing their resumes, mock interviews, and choosing the right job as well as the industry. The bond they share will help students in landing up in the career they desire.
- Industry Readiness – Alumni are the ones who are already exposed to the corporate world out there and who are all well acquainted with their respective industries or domains. Partnerships with alumni will help students learn the skills/certifications needed or the pain points associated with a particular industry which further helps them in getting well equipped for the race they are getting into.
- Professional Development – The corporate world that students get into is far more different from the education environment. You lose out if you’re not well prepared. The engagements they share with their alumni enrich the overall experience of the students and provide them with a competitive advantage in the current global job market.
Alumni Mentoring Programs are one of the best ways to enhance Student Development. To learn how to design a best Alumni Mentoring Program, read HERE
- Internships and Jobs – The common point of graduating from the same college has a lot of impact. Your alumni can give you referrals in the company they’re working with or get you recruited as their own intern. Even if it’s 10 years down the lane, the relationship that students have with their alumni during their college days will definitely reap benefits.
- Networking – Association with Alumni will broaden the network. The bigger the network is, the better the advantages. It helps the students to build their confidence, raise their profile, advance their careers, and give them access to plenty of opportunities.
Students’ success in and outside the campus is Institution’s success. It’s the responsibility of the institution to make students understand the importance of Alumni interaction and train them to leverage it.
But how do we reach out to students? Here are some channels that can be easily accessible –
Social media has long back become a part of everyone’s life and students are no exception. Being about communication and connection, it turns out to be one of the efficient ways to educate students.
- Instagram Reels – They gain quick attention from students and it helps amp up your reach. Carefully planned and created Reel videos, making students a part of the campaign with trending hashtags will serve the purpose of getting them aware of the benefits they can avail by maintaining meaningful connections with their Alumni.
- Blogs – One thing that has been consistent over the last several years, but has changed quite a bit in strategy, is blogging. Sharing relevant and helpful blogs and articles on how they can get connected with Alumni and the advantages associated will gain traction from Students.
- Emails – This helps in the personalized and targeted sharing of your messages. Schedule emails for your students according to their respective years of study along with the potential gains for them by interacting with their Alumni. Also, send regular reminders so that they don’t fall back.
Social media might have a larger reach but on-campus visits and interactions become more effective because of personal touch points.
1. Live interaction with Alumni – Set out a live interaction with Alumni every once in a while so that students will get a taste of what’s in the store for them and also of what they’re losing out on. Be it a face-to-face or an online session, it’ll help students realize the importance of having interaction with Alumni.
2. Share success Stories – They say experiences don’t lie, show your students the success stories of Alumni or current students who got benefited through the relationship they maintain with their Alumni. Publish and market the story all out until it reaches every single student.
3. Clubs/Councils – Plan for the formation of a dedicated wing for Alumni-Student interaction. Be it a club or a council with 1-2 faculty heads and make sure it runs throughout the year. Encourage students to be an integral part of and provide incentives for students who are actively working towards this.
Student-Alumni interaction is not a one-way street, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. And at the same time, the institution has a lot to gain from this. Providing access for students to interact with their Alumni and taking steps for meaningful engagement has become one of the crucial steps for the institution to be taken right away.