Friendship, fun, continuous talk and always a shoulder to lean on – that’s the joy of school life.
When we spend six hours daily for years an institution, we imbibe its values and its identity and in essence carry them with us as learning or experience long after we leave the campus. And then suddenly, years later, a chance encounter with a friend, an article in the newspaper or similar incidents in the lives of our children brings those memories of our alma mater hurtling through our minds in a rush.
Of course Facebook, WhatsApp and LinkedIn has made the link stronger and has given a new dimension to school friendship – the alumni network.
The alumni network is a school’s recognition and celebration of past student’s achievements and a storehouse of opportunity to its current students. It is in essence a network of Godfathers to each new recruit and an arm extended in help to every member.
Schools, colleges and Universities are radically changing the way they support the alumni, supplementing quarterly magazines and annual reunions with year round networking and communication.
Lifelong friendships, the collaborative community, and common connections with other alumni are among the most powerful benefits of an alumni network. The relationships built here gives us the power to move ahead in our job, change our career, and even relocate around the globe.
Some colleges call back the students with job offered, some benefit with fund raising and campus recruitment. Scholarships, campus access and referrals also form a major part of many alumni network.
Alumni network is the backbone of recruitment. 94% of recruiters and human resources professionals surveyed by Jobvite (2013) credited LinkedIn as being the go-to source for recruiting. Facebook rose to second place, with 66 percent of hiring professionals using it as a source for recruiting, and Twitter placed third, at 52 percent.
The test of success of this long term fraternity association and bonding came during the recent recession when alumni network world over helped thousands of laid off employees get newer jobs.
Whether an alum is an entrepreneur striving to grow his or her company, a young professional seeking to accelerate his or her career path, or a venerable old grad mentoring others in appreciation for past guidance received, the alumni network is a vibrant and efficient platform for such “value exchange.” Childhood friendships indeed are the sweetest.