Interacting with Alumni students
Since I began my studies at a university level I’ve been hearing loads about alumni-networks and how great they are. Yet, I haven’t really seen any of them being used well in practice. Why?
The other day Chalmers’s principal Karin Markides gave a talk on exactly this topic: “We have to become more interested in our alumni students” (free translation). All I got when I finished my bachelor’s degree was a blunt boring invitation. Stay in touch, get CV consultation for free, yada yada… Obiviously they didn’t manage to get me interested.
As an Erasmus Mundus student I got an invitation for its alumni network too. Except for a survey issued by the European Commission I haven’t really found anything interesting there either. Stay in touch, get CV.. you get the point. I’m better off connecting and networking using LinkedIn, Twitter or even Facebook!
Eventually, I’ll get an invitation for KTH’s alumni network too.
For universities, the benefits of maintaining contact with alumnis are obivous: if I create something great, it’s a boost for the university’s reputation. “Hey, this awesome guy went to our university and he created a multi-billion company. Join us and you can too!” Or alternatively, “Hey, this awesome guy went to our university, created an awesome company, now we’re doing awesome research with them. Look we’re awesome too.”
A week ago my former supervisor sent me a link to SEM.connect(), an initative by a couple of students attending the same programme I did. While I enjoy and encourage their idea, they still have to work on their presentation and implementation. There is potential here however. And they have a clear advantage over any university initiative: It focuses on relations between students. And perhaps the true strength come from the fact that it is created by students, for students.
(Photo by xcode @ flickr)