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Monday, 02 March 2015 07:31

Why I should give back to my institution? Featured

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Universities and colleges all over the globe have some sort of Alumni and Development function within their institution.This function is designed to enhance relationships with alumni and former staff whilst simultaneously enhancing the experience of current students and staff at the institution. It’s a simple exchange of generosity shown from both sides that should be completely fool-proof and lead to a thriving global community. I meet a lot of graduates, (many from my circle of friends and family) who complain that the only time they ever hear from their former University or College is when the institution is trying to raise money.

This cold calling type of communication is both common and extremely damaging to both the recipient and the University.The first question many will ask upon receiving this type of communication will be “why should I give back to my University?”

A perfectly valid question, particularly in an age where students are already paying up to heafty amount annually for tuition along with rising living costs.

It is simply not enough to suggest a graduate should give back with their time and/or philanthropically purely because they were provided an education.

 

So how can you avoid receiving a reply from a graduate asking to opt out of future correspondence?The answer is simple, but is by no means a guarantee to success.

Engagement with a future graduate needs to happen before they even set foot on your campus as a Fresher.

You need to offer them something that immediately makes them feel part of a support network that is there to enhance their lives.

This may come in the shape of a social event at the Students Union that offers a number of groups and societies or an invitation to join a mentoring group to help them settle in to academic life.

The student needs to feel they have made the right decision to spend 3-4 years of their lives studying at your institution and that your support network will continue long after they finish. By feeling part of a club that genuinely cares about their development, tailoring its services to their needs, should result in that individual being far less disgruntled at receiving a letter one day asking them to give back.

Alumni Relations has never been more exciting to work in, and it is a constant learning process as we try to offer added value to both our students and graduates.

The reality is that in this increasingly competitive climate where Universities are fighting to recruit students, it has never been more important to offer more than just a good degree. ( Article Reference link :
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140808090559-58413381-why-should-i-give-back-to-my-university-or-college
)

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