Imagine meeting that prospective client you have been striving to crack a deal with at your school’s alumni meet and realizing he was your senior back then! Or wouldn’t it be great if during an ex-employer alumni meeting, your ex-boss proposes a lucrative job offer – an opportunity better than the current one you are pursuing. How weird would it be to find out during a college reunion that your junior batch mate is vying to work with you – a possible prospect according to you as you have an opening in your team? So if you thought alumni relationships were just about staying in touch with your alma mater, post graduate institution or ex-employer think again!
While the concept of alumni associations is not new. It has gained immense momentum. These associations can be excellent platforms for organizations to hire some of the best talent and build the company’s brand. In fact, we hire large number of employees through this route. The organizations look forward towards leveraging this network for not only talent acquisition but also creating the preferred employer, brand. We have an ambassador program that helps us connect with the engineering colleges and their alumni associations. Employees act as ambassadors of the organization and help us connect with their colleges and institutions.
Talking about how alumni associations help any organization or educational institution, Rohit, founder and managing director, says most of the top colleges and schools have very active alumni associations — formal or informal, especially so in Ivy League schools. The purpose of such an association is brand building for the Institution or organization since the alumni group is a very valuable resource. Especially in the new online networked world, the alumni are going global. They are the brand ambassadors and by amplifying the engagement with the alumni both the alumni and institution or organization can derive a lot of advantages in the form of guest lectures mentoring programs, placement assistance collaboration and on-going learning just to name a few. Today it is only about staying in touch but also brand building, networking, social and professional collaboration and real time communication.
The trend of alumni associations is fast catching on and has proven to be beneficial in ways more than one. Several members of the ex-employer or college alumni group hold key decisions making positions with corporations all around the world.
Alumni associations have proven to be effective tools in talent acquisition and towards establishing presence across campuses. These members can spread the world of their respective universities in front of their current / prospective employer and eventually source talent. This will not only reflect positively on the university but also drastically shorten the recruitment process of the company therefore a win-win situation. We hire around 20-30 per cent of fresh graduates through or of campus drives.
According to Mahajan, alumni relationships can be very powerful business tools since alumni have an affinity to work together and trust is implicit. Successful alumni may like to hire students for internship or permanent employment or share their learning and knowledge by going for guest lectures and mentorships thus enhancing their personal or company brand. Alumni running their own business might gain by connecting with other alumni in new locations and could even begin operating their business in new geographies or simply get to meet with friends while visiting a new country.
Hence it can be concluded that these alumni relationships help people not only to enhance their social circle and network and build a brand, but can also lead to interesting and fruitful business relationships In fact, these alumni relationships have turned out to be a win-win situation for both, the organizations or institutions and the members.