Your graduates play an active role in the reputation of your institution… During their training, you have passed on knowledge, skills, values, contacts… with the aim of enabling them to build their professional careers and to develop fully in working life.
You have given them an enormous amount of knowledge, but your mission does not end there!
The trust and bond with your graduates is built over time, they have left your institution but still need you and your network!
In this article, discover the benefits of building an alumni network for your graduates but also for your students and your institution.
Why create an alumni network?
Benefits for your graduates
Your alumni are linked by their common experience and can support and guide each other throughout their careers. An alumni network can be a valuable resource for your current students and also your graduates.
Provide networking opportunities
One of the most important functions of an alumni network is to provide networking opportunities for its members. In today’s economy, it is not enough to have a degree from a good school, you also need a strong professional network. Your alumni network with the directory, groups, events, job opportunities, career service… can help your graduates meet new people in their field, find out about job opportunities and get advice on career development.
Developing and boosting professional careers
An alumni network can also provide career development resources. Many alumni networks offer job offers, job fairs and career-related services such as: CV writing, mock interviews, tips and advice on how to succeed in an interview… These resources can be extremely useful in your alumni’s job search or in their efforts to advance their career. They allow you to facilitate their professional integration.
Find a mentor
In addition to networking opportunities, an alumni network can also provide mentoring opportunities. Members of your alumni network can serve as mentors to other alumni or students, giving them advice on making the right career choices, moving on to new positions or outside opportunities, and guiding them through their careers. Through their experience, a mentor can help them make important decisions, overcome difficulties and achieve their goals. It is a great opportunity to exchange professional skills.
For your institution, there are many benefits to creating and capitalising on this alumni network. Whether it is to improve your reputation, accelerate your development or detect your future ambassadors, this network proves to be a precious ally.
Benefits for your institution
Maintain the link with your graduates
By opting for the creation of an alumni network you have the possibility to maintain a strong link with those who made your institution successful and to strengthen the ties between each of your members. Thanks to the implementation of a dedicated platform, you will be able to manage and animate this community so that this network becomes a living network and that your graduates do not miss any of your news!
Organise events, share nominations, highlight your alumni, create targeted email campaigns with many available criteria (engagement, degree, specialisation, geolocation…) and analyse the impact of your communications.
In addition to maintaining the link with your members, offer them an enriched experience thanks to the creation of polls, online voting, contributions or the setting up of a forum to encourage and reinforce mutual aid within your community.
Have reliable and up-to-date data
Building an alumni network allows you to gather your students and graduates on a unique platform where they can access a private space to update their personal and professional data. A real private Linkedin for your institution. You benefit from recent and reliable data to optimise your various communications, detect your future ambassadors and follow the evolution of your network.
Increasing awareness and reputation
This network can also help to improve the reputation of your school. When potential students see that the school has a large and active alumni network, it can help influence their decision to enrol in your institution. The network also allows you to offer your community exclusive content such as trainings, workshops, webinars… These opportunities, give value to your network and enhance your institution.
In addition, when employers see that your school has a strong alumni community, they may be more likely to recruit from your school.
Build a network of ambassadors
Your alumni are your greatest strength! By maintaining this connection with them, your graduates can act as real ambassadors for your school by spreading positive word-of-mouth. They can also contribute to activities such as recruiting, or offering internships and jobs to current students, attending your JPOs, conferences… This network of ambassadors can be international, with graduates in different countries, can be professional with graduates grouped by professional sectors, can be by degree to allow the grande école, Masters or continuing education for example to exchange. The structure in the form of groups (regional, international, clubs, leisure, professional, working groups, etc.) can thus help you structure your network and animate it locally.
Having support for your development
Tapping into your alumni network can also contribute to fundraising efforts. Collecting the taxe d’apprentissage is part of the challenge for higher education institutions to invest and improve their various courses. Today, schools need to maintain their efforts to maximise the payment of the taxe d’apprentissage. Alumni are more likely to pay the taxe d’apprentissage if they feel connected to the school and its students. Creating an alumni community also allows you to connect with potential donors who may not have considered donating to your school.
By opting to set up a website dedicated to your alumni and capitalising on this network, you benefit from numerous advantages for the reputation of your institution and for maintaining the link with your graduates.
Creating an alumni network is a real challenge, but you have an important role to play in federating and engaging your students and graduates with their educational institution! The closer they feel to their institution, the more they will get involved! The strength of a network lies in the support of its members!
Netanswer currently supports more than 220 networks with a range of functions that allow you to manage and animate this community (Events, Groups, Job board, Directory, Mobile application, Classifieds, etc.).
We are at your disposal to assist you in the creation and optimisation of your alumni network.
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