How to Harness Alumni Networks

Both colleges and corporations invest in strong alumni networks. College alumni groups are more ubiquitous, but 98% of Fortune 500 companies also have an alumni program. For higher education institutions, the primary goal of maintaining an alumni network is fundraising. For corporations, goals range from increasing sales to driving referrals. In all cases, the power of strong alumni networks proves the maxim of “it’s not what you know, but who.”

Investing in lifelong relationships leads to measurable benefits. For individual students/alumni and employees, alumni connections can secure informational interviews, assistance changing careers, or access to free resources. On the employer side, corporate alumni networks lead to 2.8x higher revenue, 4.5x more product innovation, and 6x greater employer attractiveness.

For individuals working outside established companies, alumni networks still matter a great deal. In the world of venture capital, 1 in 3 investments happened because the founder and the investor had a college in common. Investors like to invest in startups created by founders from their alma mater. These connections matter more than school quality and shared geography. 

When leveraging an alumni network, take time to attend events. You never know what an old classmate can connect you to.

The Power of Influence Networks
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