3 Reasons Why Your University Network is Crazy Valuable.
Don’t leave it behind when you get your degree.
After graduation, the world can feel overwhelming. You’ve got the credentials, but no experience. Perhaps you’ve moved to a new city where you don’t know anybody. Maybe you’re awash in debt, with no clear idea of how you’ll pay it back.
If this sounds like your life (or your near future), remember that you’ve got a team standing behind you – your university network.
Your school’s network of talented alums can advance your career for decades, if you play your cards right. Keeping in touch with your classmates and forming new bonds with older alums will keep you top-of-mind when there’s a job opportunity coming up.
With a little luck, tending these relationships can truly catapult your career. But what is it about these school connections that make them so valuable? After years of nurturing my network, this is what I’ve observed.
Shared Experiences & Nostalgia
College is more than just a place to learn and play beer pong (surprising, I know). The experiences you share with your classmates can help cement lifelong bonds.
College is a formative, transitional time for many. Emotions run high, so college memories especially seem to acquire legendary status. (Ask me about traying down libe slope the night before a spring final - yeah, it snowed in May my freshman year at Cornell.) This heightened nostalgia can make it easy to reconnect with college buddies, even after years spent apart.
These kinds of deep emotional connections can even cross generational lines. Shared school traditions, culture, and events are touchpoints that are fertile ground for building relationships.
And of course, networking is all about relationships. (But you knew that already.)
Academic Rigor Builds Trust
Late-night study sessions in the library were NOT fun for anyone. But if you went to a school where people studied hard, those sleepless nights can build your credibility even in the real world.
A degree from a tough school is shorthand for “this person knows how to get it done.” While your degree might not mean much to someone who didn’t share your experience, alumni are on the level.
They’ll know better than anyone that your degree = caffeine fueled work ethic.
They probably don’t mention this while you’re walking across the stage, but most alumni associations can offer great discounts, tickets to special events, and other networking opportunities. A little research might reveal a myriad of hidden benefits.
Try Googling [Your School] alumni benefits, and see what comes up! You might discover extra perks that are available only if you ask, sign up for a mailing list, or pay your class dues.
So go talk to your network!
All these benefits are fantastic privileges – they’re not to be taken lightly. If you had the good fortune to go to an awesome school, get out there and make the most of it! You can get started on BrightCrowd, where your alumni network lives.