Alumni Associations and networks are almost as old as their alma maters. At the start, most of these associations were entirely voluntary, supported solely by individual alumni. Volunteers maintained mailing lists, collected dues to support activities, produced publications, organized events and annual meetings. The world of Alumni Relations has come a long way, however, they are a vital part of most of the educational institutions now thanks to the efforts of many outstanding professionals in Alumni Relations.
A good alumni network benefits the institution, current students and as well as its Alumni. It is a win-win situation for everyone.
Champions of the schools: Alumni are the best spokespeople of any school. They create the institution’s reputation, which relies in large part on how successful graduates are in the real world.
2. Giving Back: Alumni also help sustain their Alma mater through donations and volunteerism. It costs a lot of money to keep an institution on its feet, and a big chunk of that comes from alumni donations. Sometimes, large donations allow universities to provide students with newer technology, better facilities, and a nicer campus—which in turn keeps schools competitive and appealing.
What it holds for the students: A very resourceful network: Schools and colleges with strong alumni networks create credibility and a strong branding for the institution. Alumni of colleges with powerful alumni networks assists graduates in the working world, providing them with better prospects of jobs.
Career building: Alumni are great role models for current students and are often well placed to offer practical support to students as they start their careers. Alumni can help by acting as mentors during their most important phase of life. In many cases, they can also provide students with great job opportunities or find prospective clients for businesses, thanks to networking among alumni.
For the Alumni themselves: A Strong Network:
a. Considering a career change? Your alma mater is a great place to explore your options. A career coach can assess your marketability, identify new industries where your skills are useful and get you up to speed on current hiring trends.
b. Update your skills: If you want to brush up on older skills or explore new ones more deeply, your membership may allow you to audit courses on campus or take continuing education classes for little or no cost.
c. Travel Opportunities: Many alumni associations offer members the opportunity to participate in fully-coordinated, domestic and international trips that range from a few days to a few weeks in length.
d. Campus Facilities: Perhaps the most recognizable figure in college alumni circles is the sports enthusiast. College sports fans are some of the most ardent school supporters, and free or discounted game tickets are popular features of an alumni association membership.
e. Other Perks:
Alumni discounts at local retailers and restaurants
Discounts on apparel and other bookstore purchases, access to campus dining facilities, parking passes and golf club memberships.
2. Degree Equity:
The degree you earn is for lifetime and its value depends on how well your school is performing.
A key factor in college and university rankings is the amount of alumni participation universities have. This isn’t surprising, considering an active alumni base generally indicates that past graduates feel like they had a quality educational experience. Attending a school with very active alumni also often encourages current students to remain involved and active after graduation, once more perpetuating a good cycle.
Enough numbers , calculations & graphs have been done on this issue. But at the end of the day the best of the Alumni networks are a bunch of people who had a really great time at their Alma mater. As one looks back on their days in school, they reminisce about the wonderful friends they made, memories and experiences they had, the lessons learned and influence of professors in their professional and personal lives. That is worth all the treasure in the world.