Alumni relations is starting to become a more important area of effort for many Swiss universities.
While many of us will agree that most Swiss people don’t feel a particular affinity to their alma mater as their American counterparts, many schools are starting to leverage the power of the alumni network.
I recently read how Wake Forest University revamped their alumni program on CURRENTS Magazine. And I was amazed at how cleverly they had gone about doing so by employing the simplest and most traditional method: asking alumni for feedback.
A simple 12 question survey sent from the personal address of the Alumni Relations Director started the discovery phase. Another brilliant move was to publicize the results in an infographic (image above) to let them know:
We shared the survey’s
findings with our graduates.
We wanted to let alumni know,
“Yes, you’ve been heard.”
Read how they did it and how they implemented the results.
A great opportunity
Swiss universities have the unique opportunity of creating and nurturing the alumni spirit from scratch. Even though they might lack the school mascots and the university sports, Swiss universities can still rally around their extraordinary reputation, success of their alumni and recent graduates, as well as their researchers.
While the above might be a challenge, it is also an opportunity to build the network well before there’s any need to ask them for anything them in return: advice, career guidance to new graduates, and contacts. The example from Wake Forest could be good guidance for Swiss universities to build the fundamentals of a good alumni program.
You might also be interested in reading about charging membership fees to alumni.