When it comes to business, networking is key. It’s a proven way to increase your reach and opportunities, as well as make valuable connections that may lead to business partners, investors and more. Alumni networks can offer you access to a network of people who have shared experiences and are interested in fostering business relationships. These are the type of people you want on your side when starting a company.
Many colleges have formal alumni organizations, which are designed to keep students connected with their alma mater and other alumni. These groups often host events, both in person and online, and can be a great place to find potential mentors or business partners. Many of these organizations are run by volunteer groups of alumni, so you can get involved and become a familiar face for students and other alumni.
In addition to networking, many alumni organizations offer a range of other benefits, from scholarships and grants to mentoring programs and professional development opportunities. Some, like McKinsey & Company’s global alumni network, also provides members with thought leadership and webinars, plus job listings and profiles of alumni making waves in their new careers.
The EF Academy alumni network is another example of an organization that offers its members a range of benefits. The program helps students with career advice and networking, and gives them the tools to start their own businesses. The EF Academy community includes alumni from over 50 countries, bringing together students with a wide variety of professional backgrounds and interests.
College is a time of self-exploration and discovery, as well as the beginning of a career path. For some, this is a clear path toward a specific career field or industry, while others have more varied experiences and pursue a more flexible trajectory. For this reason, alumni networks are a powerful resource for both recent graduates and those who are more established in their careers.
LinkedIn is a popular tool for connecting with former classmates, colleagues and other professionals. By listing your college on your profile, you can join alumni groups for your school and other universities. From there, you can proactively look for other alumni who work in your industry and reach out to them to connect. When reaching out, it’s important to be polite and explain why you’re contacting them and what you hope to gain from the relationship. This will help ensure that your connection is a mutually beneficial one.