There’s a reason why 98% of Fortune 500 companies have some form of alumni program – knowing the right people in the right places can open new doors and create new opportunities. Networking with established professionals can be beneficial for employees and employers alike. These professionals give employees key advice and informational interviews, along with guidance in working towards a promotion or a career change. For employers, these networks can help find the perfect candidate for their company and grant access to free resources, resume reviews, and exclusive job postings. Alumni networks tie together mentors and mentees and help create long lasting, meaningful relationships.
Influence networks in business and keeping in touch with alumni can bring a variety of new benefits for businesses. Engaged alumni advocating for your brand are much more valuable as compared to average customers. Praise of your business from someone who worked there is taken into better consideration than simply hearing about a product or service. Businesses that take the time and INVEST (put in effort) into their alumni programs see upwards of a 44% increase in net new business. They also have access to a larger labor pool, and alumni networks can drive more referrals and boomerang hires.
Alumni are also vitals for startups looking for early investors. Investors are much more likely to invest in startups created by founders from their alma mater. A study over a 19 year period of venture capital investments found that 1 in 3 of investments had the investors and founders attend the same college or university. More important to the connection between founders and investors than the quality of the school or shared geography is a shared education network.
Learn more about how to keep alumni engaged and how to utilize your influence network here.