Alumni are important to the success of educational institutions; they are, in effect, ambassadors of the institutional brand, can provide professional development and networking opportunities to current students, and often contribute financially to an institution. Given that, it’s important to keep alumni engaged. One way an institution can achieve this is by providing lifelong career support to their alums. The recent Career Services for Alumni survey by ALUMinate, however, has found that ‘many institutions feel they are not doing enough in regards to career services for alumni.’ In fact, ‘the respondents reported that 25% or less of their resources for career development go to alumni.’ When asked about the biggest challenge in providing more support to alumni, constraints on staff time and budget emerged as the clear leaders.
So how can institutions provide career support to alumni with the staff and resources they already have? Many of the colleges and universities we work with have cracked the code: by curating and contextualizing the resources already use in the career office or throughout campus, and scaling personalized support using technology that facilitates customized, automated outreach, career centers are able to serve their alumni with the tailored support they need, without having to expand the team or reallocate large amounts of budget.
Here are just a few examples:
Alumni from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business receive weekly newsletters from their respective career services offices. Unlike many newsletters, however, these are both automated and customized, meaning alumni are only receiving information and content in their newsletters that is relevant to their interests and status as alumni. Each alum has unique interests, and so each receives a completely unique newsletter customized just for them, something that would be impossible to do manually. Instead, once newsletters in uConnect are turned on, they require no additional staff time and are sent out completely automatically. Not only do the newsletters provide relevant opportunities and insights right in each alum’s inbox, they serve as a natural, frequent, and value-adding mechanism for keeping alumni engaged with the institution, a holy grail for alumni and advancement offices everywhere.
University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business and Wentworth Institute of Technology are among many uConnect schools who have alumni-specific ‘Career Communities’ -- intelligent and interactive digital spaces. Using the same smart tagging system that powers the automated customized newsletters, the tools, opportunities, resources, and events that are relevant to alumni are automatically pulled into the Alumni Career Community. Career services staff can add static text and media to introduce and contextualize the Community and the content found in it. In so doing, staff are able to curate and reposition the resources they already have that will be relevant for alumni, encouraging alumni engagement and success without costing valuable career services staff time and budget.
At uConnect, we realized that what schools need is not another specific tool or point solution, but rather a way to streamline access to and increase usage with the tools they already have on campus. Our platform is designed to do just that. Aggregate and present tools, opportunities, and information from yours and other offices, to boost alumni and student engagement, wellbeing, and outcomes.
To learn more about how uConnect can help your institution support alumni with the resources you already have, visit www.gouconnect.com.