The benefits of an alumni association

It doesn’t surprise me that millennial are a little fed up with their alma maters. Many graduate with a huge personal debt and few prospects of paying that back in the short-term. They have a sour view of the way in which their university prepared them for life in the outside world. They are completing an internal cost-benefit analysis and finding that the cost of their education is not delivering the expected benefits.

On top of all that, they’re being asked for money from their scant resources to plough back into that same university that served them so badly. But in reality, there are advantages to alumni in keeping in touch with their old schools, and actually, some of them might make it worth it.

The Network

It is one business skill which some have innately and which others simply don’t. But networking is a key skill. A network of contacts is a help at all sorts of different times. While pointing out you went to the same school as someone is not going to get you a job, it is going to provide you with a connection point, something you have in common and at least somewhere to start a conversation.

Benefits programs to make it worthwhile

Your university is going to ask you for money. It is the way they work and it is a huge source of income for them. In return, many will make arrangement to offer benefits back in kind. Whether it is something as simple as getting you a break on car rental or a parking discount at the airport it doesn’t really matter if they are saving you money, then it makes sense to take it.

Think of it this way, you’re parking ticket is cheaper because of where you went to school. If you didn’t go, you wouldn’t be getting it.

Career services

The range of career services changes from association to association. But they all have some services set up. Whether it is a simple job board or they get really creative with career counseling, job change services or simply offer educational videos that are only available to alumni doesn’t really matter – the point is the service is there and taking advantage of it makes good sense.

Continuing Education

Another point which is worth checking is the price of continuing education courses. Often these are considerably less expensive for graduates than they would be for external people. If you need a refresher on accounting 101, this is a place to start.

A new habit

There has been a trend in recent years where colleges are asking for donations before their undergraduates leave. The idea is to get them into the habit of donating and before reality hits. Whether you do or not is up to you of course. But it is worth checking out what the alumni association gives back to their alumnus. If there’s one thing the association understands it is the principle of quid pro quo.