Nowadays, academic performance and career development are dependent not only on what you know, but who. This is best demonstrated by the success of alumni networks, a way for organizations to connect current and previous members. By increasing job prospects, fundraising, and engagement potential, alumni networks allow individuals, colleges, and companies to reap unrivaled benefits.
If done right, a person’s influence and success can outlast their lifetime. Paul Krugman, a professor and economist at Princeton University, used his college and occupational network to become one of the most well known economists in the world. Begin engaging with one’s own network by reaching out to alumni via email or LinkedIn, getting involved in committee work, or updating your alumni magazine’s class notes column.
Providing members with this tool for success also supports an organization itself. An engaged alumni delivers a 10% increase in brand sentiment, making them 5X more worthwhile than an average customer. They can also save an organization over $5 million dollars in recruiting costs. However, the organization must ensure alumni are incentivized to participate through a celebration of their achievements, a connection to their alma mater, and/or networking event invites.
In short, when college students, professionals, and organizations take the time to nourish an alumni network, they will be rewarded handsomely.