- Wider Professional Network
Alumni associations are rife with opportunities for expanding a graduate’s professional network. Graduates have the opportunity to network with recent grads as well as graduates several years their senior and these connections can lead to internships, jobs, clients, partnerships and other valuable career opportunities. In addition, having an alma mater in common and being able to network via regular in-person events or online platforms makes it easier to form and maintain these valuable connections.
- Exclusive Online Job Listings
Many alumni associations host job boards on their website and/or post job listings in their recurring newsletters or magazines. Other alumni may offer these jobs or it could simply be jobs that alumni heard about. In some cases these opportunities may not be widely published elsewhere, giving graduates first dibs.
- Targeted Career Services
Alumni associations often provide a wealth of career services to help former students find job opportunities and improve their chances of landing a job offer. Career fairs, for example, bring together employers from around the area, and sometimes further, so that graduates can meet company representatives face-to-face. Career counseling, seminars, webinars, and networking events may provide helpful information about the job market. Similarly, an association may offer resume and cover letter assistance to help graduates put their best foot forward.
- Access to College Resources Post Graduation
In addition to career services, alumni associations may provide various resources to help former students post graduation. This might include access to library materials, extensive journal and periodical databases, and even educational amenities on campus, such as certain labs and equipment.
- Contact with Classmates
Being able to connect with former classmates can be another benefit to belonging to an alumni association. Whether this leads to a career opportunity or is simply a chance to catch up with old friends and acquaintances, graduates will benefit from alumni directories and online social media groups that keep the lines of communication open well after the caps and gowns have been removed.
- Up-to-Date Information About School Happenings
Alumni associations send out current information about the school to former students via newsletters, e-newsletters or college magazines. From a new campus building slated for construction to updates on the college’s athletic teams to news about the latest research developments, graduates can stay in the know about their alma mater. This also includes events and fundraisers as well as career opportunities, such as certification testing dates, new degree programs, or continuing education opportunities, all of which may offer graduates a competitive edge in the job market.
- Exclusive Perks & Benefits
In addition to education and career opportunities, alumni associations can offer a range of exclusive perks. Some associations offer financial benefits, such as banking or credit union services, credit cards, or discounted rates on different types of insurance, such as home, auto, and travel. Benefits might also include travel perks, such as special alumni travel destination programs or discounts or free entry for places or events in the area or on campus. Some associations also offer discounts on continuing education and even gym membership through the school.
- Connect with Professors
Connecting fellow alumni is one way to find career and social opportunities, but reconnecting with past professors can offer a wealth of opportunities as well. This is particularly true for research, as many professors at colleges and universities are engaged in some type of academic research. Graduates could connect with professors in their field to gain worthwhile experience or guidance with a particular research topic.
- Connect with the Community
Many associations partner with their local community so that alumni can provide assistance to the area while also having the opportunity to build relationships with community members and leaders.
Alumni associations aren’t always all business. They offer several chances to partake in social events, such as mixers, happy hours, and galas as well as homecoming events, football tailgates, alumni award ceremonies, and class reunions. Graduates can take a break from work and post-college life and reconnect with former classmates as well as other alumni, while making social connections that could lead to lasting friendships.
- Giving Back
Graduates often want to stay connected to their alma mater and help future generations of alumni have the same opportunities and positive experiences they did. Alumni associations offer a number of ways to give back, including gifts, endowments, membership fees, and volunteer opportunities. Giving back to an alumni association is a great way to keep the school’s legacy going and ensure that future generations of students have the opportunity to pursue quality higher education.