- How can a student use their school’s alumni community for their career?
- The creation of an alumni platform: THE solution to promote and use your alumni community.
First, let’s review the expectations of a student with the 4 key competencies that a student must build in a pro experience:
The acquisition and development of professional and interpersonal skills.
- By working alongside experienced professionals, students can develop their interpersonal skills and gain valuable career skills, including communication, collaboration, and problem solving.
- By working on group projects, students also learn to work effectively with others, listen to and accept others’ ideas, and compromise.
Presenting projects in front of team members or clients also helps students build confidence and improve their ability to communicate effectively.
Students can put into practice the theoretical knowledge acquired in class, discover the different norms and cultures of the professional world and explore new fields…
The opportunity to develop a professional network:
Students can access job opportunities that are not publicly advertised and get recommendations for jobs or internships.
After gaining practical experience in the workplace, it is important to think about what one wants to do with one’s career in the long run.
Internships and other professional activities help students get a sense of what they plan to do in the future and in their career.
A survey conducted by the National Association of Universities and Employers found that employers view internships as an effective way for students to gain job skills, with 87% of employers stating that they prefer to hire students who have already gained work experience via an internship.
We’ll cover this topic in more detail in a future article.
How can a student use their school’s alumni community for their career?
An alumni network brings together people who share a common interest in education, career and professional development.
Alumni communities are created to allow alumni to stay connected, network, receive updates on their former school or organization, participate in events, and support new generations of students or recent graduates.
So let’s look at the 3 major benefits of an active and engaged alumni network:
Networking is the art of building and maintaining professional relationships with others.
The purpose of networking is to develop useful contacts for your career, obtain information about professional opportunities, learn from others, and find partners for projects or businesses.
How do you network well?
Attend events, create profiles on professional social networks such as LinkedIn, send emails or direct messages to make contacts, and talk to new people to master the art of networking.
A study conducted by LinkedIn found that network members have a higher response rate when they ask another member for an introduction via a former classmate in common.
Networking and hidden market
The hidden job market refers to job postings that are not published publicly, but rather are passed on through personal and professional networks.
These jobs are not visible on online job boards and are not openly advertised by the employer.
According to a LinkedIn survey, 85% of jobs are filled through networking and 70% of jobs are never advertised publicly.
Networking is the only access to this market.
To maximize their chances of finding job opportunities in the hidden market, candidates should cultivate a strong professional network, attend networking events, use professional social networking platforms, and especially get involved in their institution’s alumni network.
Employers can also take advantage of the hidden job market by building relationships with potential candidates through their current employees, partners and clients. This is known as co-option, which is a selection process in which a company selects new employees based on recommendations from members of the organization.
2. The Career Center : access to career-long professional opportunities
Job search assistance, such as resume writing and interview preparation, career development counseling, access to workshops, conferences… are the main services offered by the Career Center to students.
An institution’s Career Center also serves as a social media outlet for students. It is the place where students can find resources and opportunities to develop their professional network, just as they would using social media.
The alumni network also allows individuals to connect and communicate with others, share information and resources, and build their professional network.
Similarly, the Career Center aims to help students connect with potential employers, provide resources to help them plan their careers, and offer internship or job opportunities to help them gain professional experience.
At the end of their studies, 23.9% of young graduates of the grandes écoles find their first job thanks to professional networks (CGE 2021 study)
Thanks to the Career Center, you also have access to recruitment forums that offer networking opportunities.
According to a survey by L’Étudiant in 2020, recruitment forums are one of students’ favorite recruitment events, with 62% of students surveyed having attended or considering attending.
3. Mentoring and coaching
Mentoring and coaching are two forms of career guidance that can offer many benefits to students. Here are 4 specific benefits for each of these practices:
The 4 Benefits of Mentoring for Students:
- Improve academic performance: Coaches can help students develop effective study skills and improve their academic performance.
- Leadership skills development: Coaches can help students develop leadership skills
- The opportunity to develop a professional network: Mentors can help students make contacts in their industry and expand their professional network.
- Access to professional resources: Mentors can provide students with resources such as books, articles, seminars, or training to help them develop their skills and industry knowledge.
The creation of an alumni platform: THE solution to promote and use your alumni community.
An alumni platform will materialize all the benefits you can get from your community
Creating an alumni network is beneficial for alumni who want to stay connected, strengthen their professional network, share knowledge and opportunities, and support their former school by advocating for current students.
By creating an alumni network, alumni maintain a strong connection to their school or organization, as well as to their former classmates, while benefiting from new opportunities and professional connections.
5 Advantages to create your alumni platform:
- Sharing knowledge and experience: Alumni share their experiences and knowledge with other members of the alumni network, offering tips and tricks for career success.
- Access to resources: (Career center) Members of the alumni network have access to resources such as job offers, internships, training, professional events, or professional development tools.
- Support and Mentoring: Alumni receive support and mentorship from other network members, offering advice and guidance in their career path.
- Establish an online presence: for institutions, students and alumni it is essential to have an online presence in order to communicate, to build a positive image as well as to reinforce the visibility of what you sell or produce.
- Organize events: Host alumni networking events, such as conferences, professional meetings, class reunions, or sporting events. In-person events allow alumni to meet and discuss their professional experiences.
In conclusion, creating an alumni platform is THE thing to do if you want to meet your students’ expectations while developing and engaging your alumni community.
An alumni platform correlates the benefits of your community with the needs of your students for internships and professional opportunities.
It brings many benefits to your organization or institution and allows you to maintain strong ties with your alumni, involve them in current events and projects, promote your institution and strengthen its reputation, as well as create a strong professional network for your graduates.
By providing a platform where alumni can connect and find opportunities for personal and professional development, you foster their success and strengthen their commitment to your institution.
Ultimately, an alumni platform helps improve alumni satisfaction and boost their loyalty to your organization, which has a positive long-term impact on your institution’s reputation.
To go further:
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