Alumni Engagement: Corporate Alumni vs. University Alumni
Whether from a university or a workplace, alumni are capable of becoming vital brand ambassadors.
An outstanding university graduate who makes it to a solid, successful and reputable job is viewed as a reflection of their school. Whereas the highly skilled engineer who creates a billion-dollar app makes his employer shine and builds value for the company. Either way, wouldn’t it be nice to maintain and foster relationships with these individuals? Colleges and universities do it all the time through established alumni communities. But what about corporations? Can they learn from these educational institutions and do the same?
The answer is “yes”.
By establishing a corporate alumni program which holds the alumni together and nurtures the relationships companies have the chance to grow their brand, build stronger teams through alumni referrals and grow knowledge networks that can provide a competitive edge. The good news is that all of this can be done through technology but in order for the technology to work it’s necessary to understand how the two types of alumni are similar and different.
Alumni Programs: Some similarities and some differences.
Alumni Programs: Understand the purpose(s)
Educational Alumni Programs seek to engage their former students usually seeking to gain something from them in the form of time, money and knowledge. It’s not unusual for alumni to do things like finance new buildings or scholarships, develop internships, mentor students, and the like. All of these activities are an imperative part of the school’s growth and success plans.
Corporate Alumni Programs also have numerous reasons to keep their alumni engaged. Some companies incorporate alumni programs within their HR strategies, with the aim of making the most a valuable talent pool of both re-hires and alumni referrals. Other utilize their corporate alumni program as a major component to share news and opinions with the hopes of attracting clients, investors, and brand ambassadors.
Both Alumni require different Engagement Strategies
Educational alumni are usually leaned upon from their alma mater, via school pride, to cultivate the next generation of students and help the school grow. It’s usually a straightforward process that asks for time and/or money to help with the school’s efforts.
Corporate alumni, if cultivated and engaged properly, will maintain a high regard for their former employer, almost the same pride as seen from college alumni. Organizations who realize this and use alumni engagement platforms have the opportunity to build their networks enormously but without much effort or added expense.
The Alumni Programs are organized in their own way
Educational institutes, usually have to involve numerous volunteers and staff for their alumni engagement. These people, who usually require a good deal of management and resources to keep the alumni engaged are all working to get the required future support.
In the Corporate World, the alumni teams are usually leaner thanks to automated alumni engagement platforms. This allows them to be strategic when it comes to deploying resources and innovative when developing partnership opportunities. Corporations can be very successful with their alumni engagement efforts, especially when they aim to provide value not to just themselves but also to their alumni.
As you can see, alumni programs for corporations and educational institutes have a lot in common but they also have their differences. Understanding this and using that knowledge can allow you to develop a solid and successful alumni engagement program.