Creating positive alumni relationships can enhance your college experience and better prepare you for the real world. Alumni can provide invaluable advice, expand your professional network, and introduce you to new opportunities. Here are five ways you can build a relationship with alumni and take advantage of everything they have to offer.
1. Attend Alumni Networking Events
Students should attend alumni networking events to meet with people who have been in your shoes and can relate to your current situation. You can ask them questions, hear advice, and add new connections to your network.
2. Join an Alumni Mentorship Program
If your university offers an alumni mentorship program, this is a great opportunity to learn about different companies and positions. Use alumni as your mentors and career consultants to gain extra guidance and help you advance your career. This will give you a better understanding of what you want to do in the future and help you better prepare for how to get there.
3. Attend Alumni Guest Speakers
Listen to an alumni guest speaker in a class or through your career center to hear about life in the real world. They can provide great insights on classes, applying to jobs, interviewing, maintaining your finances, and transitioning to the real world. Hearing the experiences of recent graduates can inspire and empower you to make a change in your life or motivate you to continue the path you’re on.
4. One-On-One Resume Review
Throughout college your professors, advisors, and career coaches are the ones constantly reviewing your resume and cover letter. Reach out to alumni to hear their perspective as well. They can share what employers are looking for in a recent graduate and help you sell yourself through your resume.
5. Speak with Alumni at Career Fairs
Attend a career fair and listen to alumni present their company. This will give you an inside look at the company’s culture and expose you to new opportunities. After their presentation be sure to make a personal connection, get their contact information, and reach out to further your relationship. Speaking with alumni at career fairs is a great way to get your foot in the door with a specific company.
Alumni are always looking for ways to give back and are often willing to pull for you at their company and even provide a reference, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!