The advantages of alumni engagements for current students
The economic and cultural community globally is evolving. In a very dynamic world, having a competent alumni network possessing skills including evaluation and research, organisational development and planning, administration, and familiarity with the current issues in the global business environment is beneficial in sharing global resources and knowledge.
Having an engaged Alumnus is one of the success factors for an educational institution. Colleges and universities are employing various strategies globally to assist the alumni professionals as productive partners with the current students to help enrich and enhance their student life.
Today, we are all operating globally, and having a global network is considered a gold mine for learning and community exchange. Students can get an insight into the different experiences and practices which will be beneficial to them once they enter their professional field.
A strong alumni network also increases the chances of global employment as the students are informed about the skill-sets companies are looking for, languages (if any), soft skills and other aspects of the job or similar roles.
Alumni have a strong understanding of the mission of the School or the University and support the current students in different ways to achieve these missions and goals. By providing this support to the students, institution, and each other, an active alumni network assists the institutions to benefit from the global knowledge, expertise, and experiences of their past graduates.
Many institutions engage the alumni in their recruitment process for the selection of high-achieving students. Alumni volunteer in this selection process as this also helps with the branding of the School in the alumni's current company and provides an opportunity for them to share the talent from their alma mater.
It helps the prospective students get first-hand information about the college, financial aid, scholarships, faculty, academic courses, and other extracurricular programs. Various institutions include alumni associations in the orientation programs for the new students as this assists the students with a clear perspective of the University.
Information such as:
- the culture of the College or University
- the campus (residential dorm) traditions
- how to connect with faculty
- how to deal with the work pressure and extracurricular activities
- how to leverage the alumni network and other networking platforms
are of great use to the students and can help steer their time at the University more efficiently and productively.
Some student alumni groups are designed in the same way as the institutional advancement models. These groups promote student involvement in the institution's fund-raising efforts. Alumni groups are increasingly involved in providing programs and events for presently enrolled students in collaboration with student affairs departments. The annual homecoming events are organized by the student and alumni committees at many universities. Some universities offer particular transition programs for new students or seniors who are about to graduate, while others bring together students and alumni through volunteering in the community for similar causes or in areas where the schools are based. These possibilities allow schools and institutions to keep alumni involved in students' lives throughout the academic year.
Some universities offer particular transition programmes for new students or seniors who are about to graduate, while others bring together students and alumni through volunteering in the community for similar causes or in areas where the schools are based.
Active involvement with the alumni provides career guidance to the current students in their professional life. These engagements enrich the overall experience of the students and provide them with a competitive advantage in the current global job market.
Partnerships between alumni and students help in mutual growth and development as they learn new skills, information, or knowledge.
So, while we talk about the benefits of having an engaged alumni network for the institution, we must not overlook the benefits gained by the alumni network. For instance, many alumni benefit from the interaction with the students through their mentoring journey, sharing knowledge as Guest Lecturers, and mentoring projects for the students.
Through an engaged alumni network with the students, institutions can create a valuable and long-lasting global impression for their students and themselves.
About the author
Anu Madan is the Deputy Director – Alumni Relations at SP Jain School of Global Management
Note: The views expressed in this article are solely author’s own and do not reflect/represent those of Shiksha
Mani is a content curator by profession, a reader by choice and a vegetarian junk foodie at heart. When she's not being any of these, she could be seen binge-watching FRIENDS, on repeat.
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