July 30, 2007
Wesleyan University - Giving their Graduates an Extra Edge
I've talked before about how important it is to provide your alumni with valuable resources on an ongoing basis. In past blog articles, I've discussed everything from lifelong learning, to mentoring possibilities, to networking with other alumni, as well as many other ideas to consider adopting for your alumni and/or your alumni online community. Anything you can do to give your alumni an extra edge in today's competitive job market will go a long way in assuring consistent and continual support from your alumni in return.
One method that Wesleyan University is using successfully is simple in theory, yet has the ability to boomerang into benefit after benefit for both the college and the alumni. All graduates of Wesleyan University are provided with branded, private email addresses. See, simple in concept, but when you give this some thought, it's a terrific way to support your alumni for the rest of their life, and provide unique branding for the university at the same time.
There is no cost for Wesleyan alumni to use these email accounts, and it is a low cost for the college, which is a huge plus. In addition, alumni can use their Wesleyan branded email addresses in between jobs to prove to prospective employers that they have a degree. And, every time they use the email account Wesleyan provides them, they're promoting their alma mater. It's also a great way for alumni to do business with other alumni.
In a world where more and more communication is being done via email, having your alumni use an email address you provide them is good business sense. It puts the college name in front of people all over the world, every day of the year. Multiply this by the number of your alumni and you can easily see the benefits.
January 24, 2007
Saint Mary's College - Touring Jerome
While most, if not all, colleges and universities have an online alumni community, Saint Mary's College Alumni Association has taken their community a step further. To begin with, their online alumni community has a name, Jerome! In addition to naming their community, Saint Mary's College Alumni Association has also created a visual tour of the community itself. The tour is easy to understand and guides alumni through each aspect of the community, with complete descriptions and explanations on how to make the best use of the community.
The tour begins with an overview of the online alumni community as a whole, and explains the benefits alumni will receive by utilizing the community. It quickly moves on to detailed instructions, tips, and examples of how each section of the online alumni community works. The tour covers everything that alumni need to know on using the directory, searching for profiles, connecting with other alumni, mentoring, networking, clubs and chapters, communication via email, setting up profiles, volunteering, and much more.
By offering this tour to alumni, Saint Mary's College Alumni Association is supplying the information needed for current Alumni Association members to take full advantage of every area of their online community. Beyond this, however, they are also ensuring that young alumni, and those alumni who are not yet members of the association, all have a visually compelling format in order to understand how the community works, how it will benefit them, and ways they can give back to their alma mater.
It's important for all colleges and universities to keep their alumni connected, interested, and involved. Without ongoing participation, online alumni communities don't thrive, volunteers are hard to find, and everyone loses out. Encouraging participation is vital. Saint Mary's College Alumni Association is not only encouraging this participation, they are teaching all of their alumni everything they need to know to succeed - within the alumni community and out. Jerome, and the tour, is a win-win situation for everyone!