When it comes to cooking up success for current and future students, one important ingredient for universities can be found in the past.

Alumni can be an important resource for students and universities, and maintaining strong relations with past students is hugely beneficial.

How can alumni contribute? Alumni can make a significant impact on students and higher education by providing mentorship, networking opportunities, financial support, expertise, advocacy and professional development support. Alumni engagement and contribution can enhance the overall educational experience for students, prepare them for successful careers and strengthen the relationship between alumni and their alma mater.

Universities can effectively utilize their alumni list in various ways to support their current students and advance their higher education goals. Here are some strategies:

  • Alumni Mentoring Programs: Universities can establish formal alumni mentoring programs that pair alumni with current students based on career interests, fields of study or other relevant factors. Mentoring relationships can provide students with valuable guidance, advice and insights from alumni who have successfully navigated similar paths.
  • Career Services and Networking Events: Universities can organize career services and networking events where alumni can participate as speakers, panelists or workshop facilitators. These events can provide students with opportunities to learn from alumni’s career experiences, build professional networks and explore career opportunities.
  • Guest Lectures and Workshops: Universities can invite alumni to deliver guest lectures, workshops and seminars on relevant topics related to their expertise. Alumni can share their knowledge, experiences, and insights with current students, enriching their learning experiences and exposing them to real-world perspectives.
  • Alumni Associations and Networks: Universities can establish and maintain active alumni associations and networks that facilitate engagement, collaboration and networking among alumni, students, faculty, and other stakeholders. These associations can organize events, workshops, and social activities that bring alumni and students together, fostering a strong sense of community and mutual support.
  • Alumni as Ambassadors: Universities can leverage alumni as brand ambassadors who promote the institution’s reputation and achievements within their professional networks and communities. Alumni can serve as advocates for their alma mater, participate in marketing campaigns, and share their success stories, helping attract prospective students, faculty and resources.
  • Feedback and Input: Universities can seek feedback and input from alumni to inform their strategic planning, program development and improvement efforts. Alumni can provide valuable insights based on their experiences as former students, helping the institution continuously evolve and adapt to the changing needs of students and the broader higher education landscape.

Helping out the alma mater isn’t necessarily a one-way street for alumni. There are potential benefits for former students as well.

Working with their former universities can provide alumni with opportunities for personal and professional development. Alumni can participate in workshops, seminars and other educational programs offered by their universities, enhancing their knowledge, skills and credentials. Universities may also provide resources such as access to research, publications and online learning platforms that can contribute to alumni’s ongoing learning and growth.

Alumni can also leverage their connection with their old universities to expand their professional networks and access new opportunities. Universities often have robust networks of alumni, faculty and industry partners that can provide valuable connections for career advancement, business collaborations, and personal growth. By staying engaged with their old universities, alumni can tap into these networks and create meaningful professional opportunities.

Alumni can also help future students by contributing to institutional improvement. Alumni, as former students, can offer unique perspectives and insights into their alma mater’s strengths, challenges and areas for improvement. By working with their old universities, alumni can provide feedback, input, and ideas that can help shape the institution’s strategic planning, program development, and improvement efforts. Alumni engagement can contribute to the continuous improvement of the institution, making it better for current and future generations of students.

Alumni can benefit in numerous ways by working with their old universities. From giving back and supporting the institution to helping current students, accessing networking and professional opportunities, personal and professional development, staying informed and engaged, and contributing to institutional improvement, working with old universities can be mutually beneficial and fulfilling for alumni and their alma mater.

Published on April 6, 2023.