The Benefits of Building and Maintaining a Professional Network

Did you know that prospective business students prefer universities that have a strong alumni network? This is because students have more opportunities to start building relationships with other students and faculty that have higher chances of continuing after they graduate. These relationships can be very important when it comes to starting a new business or changing careers later in life. 

Students who foster relationships with fellow alumni have a higher chance of succeeding once they graduate. When it comes to starting a new business, investors are more likely to invest in startups that are started from a founder who went to their alma mater. What’s more, founders who went to school with large alumni networks are able to raise more capital on average than other entrepreneurs due to the higher success they have with networking events. This is why it is imperative for students to begin forming relationships with current and future alumni as soon as they can, and continue those relationships even after they leave college.

While university is one of the most common places for alumni to come together, large businesses also have very valuable alumni pools. Businesses that instill strong alumni programs are able to see a 2.8 times increase in revenue per employee and 4.5 times increase in product innovation. Employees can benefit from these programs by connecting with mentors or even with assistance when they are ready for a career change. By utilizing relationships formed with other alumni, employees can bolster their resume with trustworthy references which can result in upward mobility and increased professional opportunity.

Participating in alumni networking events can be a great way to meet new alumni and learn about potential career opportunities. These events often include free resources such as career information seminars, resume reviews, and more helpful career based information. Attending these events along with having a large networking pool can help you get an edge with other potential candidates for your next career. 

After meeting alumni and adding them to your professional networks, it is important to keep up with them. Influence networks with alumni both academic and professional can be invaluable, so it is important to treat them as such. It is important to remain professional, so make sure to reach out via email or LinkedIn with an explanation of who you are and why you want to meet. Inviting an alum out to lunch or for coffee can be a great way to remain friendly while learning about new potential career paths or how to develop professional skills. If a good relationship is formed with an alumni and maintained over time, they will be more willing to provide assistance in the future. 

Alumni networks in higher education and business alike can be very useful tools for building your social sphere and discovering new opportunities. You can learn more tips on how to be engaged in these networks as well as the many benefits by reading the infographic below:

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