Alumni can also provide a balanced view of their experiences – the successes and the challenges. This transparency prevents prospective students from having unrealistic expectations and prepares them for the journey ahead. Graduates can offer insights into academic, social, and professional hurdles and provide a more comprehensive picture of what to expect. There are times when the academic journey can be challenging and an honest, objective perspective is invaluable.
Bridging Academic and Professional Worlds
Similarly, alumni bridge the gap between academia and the professional world. Faculty members, while experts in their fields, might be removed from the current industry landscape. Alumni, especially recent graduates, can speak to the practical applications of the education they received and offer advice on navigating the transition from academia to the workforce.
Alumni as the Cornerstones of an Enriched Enrollment Pipeline
The untapped potential of alumni in building an enrollment pipeline is immense. Their stories, experiences, and advocacy offer a unique perspective that resonates with prospective students. The power of alumni engagement lies not just in theory but in practice. Different institutions have found innovative ways to engage their alumni effectively. This sharing of best practices among educational institutions amplifies the impact and helps refine engagement strategies over time. I encourage you to reach out to other programs to learn how they are engaging alumni effectively.
Through personal engagement, graduates from your institution can provide insights, guidance, and connections that traditional marketing efforts simply cannot replicate. As educational institutions, it’s time we tap into this valuable resource and empower our alumni to become the advocates and mentors of the next generation.
Dr. Craig Downing is the associate dean for lifelong learning at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and a member of Liaison’s EngineeringCAS Advisory Board. His research explores holistic student behaviors in graduate engineering education in addition to industrial-academic relationships and entrepreneurial ventures. He has worked as a process engineer/consultant for organizations such as Lockheed Martin and NASA.