The college alumni association isn’t a community which merely focuses on bringing former students together and putting them under one roof. They indeed have a lot to offer. If tapped into this resource wisely, it actually might add value to your personal as well as professional life.
When one says blood runs thicker than water, they probably talk about the alumni association of a standard B-School in the country. The brotherhood exhibited in these groups is awe-inspiring and shows how 2 humans from the same alma mater share a strong connection.
An alumni association is often the first place where college students learn the art of networking. Putting their internal network to the best use is a skill possessed by a few. Here we share some benefits that you can reap. Let the benefits of your alumni network be your reward for all the sleepless nights, group study sessions, dark circles under the eyes and all missed family get-togethers!
The right mentor
Often, to take the leap, you require a push. In clearer words, you need a source of inspiration. Finding somebody who has already walked in your steps and succeeded, gives you the required motivation and thrust. Directories enlisting your college’s alumni contain details of their ex-students, what they’re doing in life and how much they’ve accomplished. Dig into them and pull the one out whose career path aligns with yours.
For instance, if you’re looking forward to starting a publishing house, there are bright chances of you coming across a few writers, publishers or editors in the list of your college’s alumni. Getting in touch with them and learning from their experiences will help you ace your chances of succeeding in your dream goal.
The how’s of contacting an alumni
Be it via email or LinkedIn, being the one to initiate a conversation and saying “Hello” has always been difficult. Especially, when it comes to taking the first step towards an alumnus, the thought of what he/she might think of you strikes your head too many times before you actually click send. What should be done then, to break this barrier of how and what-if? The pro tip of initiating a conversation is to be polite and friendly and not think of your interaction as a job request.
If the concerned alumnus happens to be in your city, call them for a cup of coffee or lunch. Prepare a list of questions before you meet them in person. Ask them to share their experiences and eventually discuss your concerns. After your first meet, leave them an email or a note to thank them. This will leave a fantastic impression.
Getting involved: Being a part of the network
Many colleges offer opportunities in the form of mentorship programs and networking events to help students connect with alumni. These give you the chance to get in touch with people of your interest, choose your ideal mentor and connect with them eventually. Not only this, such gatherings also give alumni a platform to share their experiences which in turn is beneficial for you. You get to know your seniors better and take teeny mental notes of their experiences, engraving them in your memory so that you don’t repeat their mistakes.
The alumni association of your college can help you build meaningful relationships. Realizing their worth and making use of this resource to the best of your capabilities can help you define the dos and don’ts of your career path.
In case you haven’t already taken the so-called leap, this is your time to take the first step. Trust us, a bit of networking is all you require to sit back and watch better things come your way!