Why Is an Alumni Network Important? A Student Perspective

  • Why Is an Alumni Network Important? A Student Perspective

    • 05 Jul 2019      Tilak Dhital ( National College )
    Why Is an Alumni Network Important? A Student Perspective

    Strong alumni network is a testimony of success for any educational institution. Students always feel proud of their seniors’ success stories as they kind of relate it to their own. It is very crucial to maintain a good rapport with most of their passouts and keep themselves updated with the achievements of their Alumni. While a HR/ Relations team from a college tries to convince a company to appear for placements, they not only talk about the standards of their institution but also share information about their alumni, highlighting their competencies.
     
    Some alumni, who are very successful in their own career or in pursuing their passion, are also invited to talk to freshmen and instill a sense of confidence in them. They tell them how opportunities and facilities provided by the institution should be tapped effectively to make the best out of their time there. Most of the times, the alumni who have founded and established successful startups tend to comeback to their own schools and colleges to recruit. There is an assumption which states the stronger the alumni network, the better is the chance of graduates getting better opportunities out there in the world.
     
    There has always been a strong sense of attachment from the beginning of my childhood about the sense of brotherhood and sisterhood because of the moral etiquette that I learned during my school life. I remember, the first day of my school life when my guider brother who was a batch older than me. I remember graduates from my school coming back to school on the Monday assemblies addressing us with the struggle that they went through and the success that they have gained.
     
    Their stories used to inspire me, make me happy. It’s not because someone from my school was famous but because I could relate his/her story with that of mine. “People from my background would also be able to make a change in society.” This is the first thing that used to strike me a lot. I don’t think I will be able to share all the stories that I have about alumni but will surely share some of the things that I have discussed with my seniors and have learnt myself about it.  
     
    Good alumni relationships bring many benefits to both the institution and the alumni. Here are some of the benefits of maintaining an engaged alumni network and how the market is changing. Following were the different points that I found out while I discussed different matters with the students who graduated from Budhanilkantha School:

    • Feeling of ownership & support

    As graduates of the institution, alumni have a special connection with the college and as a result are likely to be some of its more loyal supporters. An engaged alumni network allows the college to benefit from the skills and experience of its graduates, by offering their support to the current students, to the institution and to each other. If we keep them properly informed and engaged, alumni are our most loyal supporters and our best ambassadors, offering invaluable marketing and promotion across their personal and professional networks.

     

    • Guidance in the field of expertise

    Talented alumni will likely have a wealth of experience and skills to share with current students via talks and newsletters. In certain cases, this could go even further with the alumni offering to practically support students in work placements and help them launch their careers.  Dev Yadav,   the Alumni Relations Officer at Society of Ex-Budhanilkantha Students (SEBS) told me: “Creating an engaged alumni network is beneficial for us because engaged graduates are much more likely to want to “give back” to the school; that could be, for example, by coming back and sharing their experiences with prospective and current students – there are no better ambassadors for your school than our alumni!”

     

    • Employment opportunities and access

    Vidhan Rana (President of SEBS)  explained that their alumni network has a real life benefit for current students: “Alumni also donate their valuable time to offer career support to current students through different programs such as our accredited Professional Mentoring Programme, work shadowing and professional networking opportunities. These enhance the students’ experience and give them that competitive edge in today’s tough jobs market.”
     
    As for the results of this programme, Mr. Rana explains “It is through this support from alumni that we are also able to retain our place as one of the highest ranked institutions in Nepal for graduate employability.”

     

    • Financial help and support:

    Because of the dedication and gratitude many alumni have for the institution, they are often generous with fundraising efforts.  Mr. Rana adds how invaluable this philanthropic support can be: “Financial donations enable us to offer life-changing scholarships and bursaries to talented students who may otherwise have to give up their studies. They also enable City to provide students with advanced facilities and equipment for teaching and pioneering research.”
     
    To conclude, I would reiterate the alumni network of an academic institution plays a vital role in making an institution reliable and grow a strong sense of fraternity among the current students and the graduates.

    • Author : Tilak Dhital

      Class : National College

      Edited By : Bachelor in Development Finance student 2018-22 Batch