Five Ways to Stay Connected to Your Alma Mater

Hands holding a magnifying glass over a sheet of prospective recruits

By: Bailey Arionus-Lecouris

December 3, 2020

For many young adults, graduating college is a major life achievement that signifies the start of their true entry into the working adult world. A lot of time and effort is spent in college preparing for and then finding the right careers. However, once you get there, once you’ve secured that job, that shouldn’t mean that you cut all ties with the University or more over the program, that you just poured years of your life into and got you where you are. There are a lot of advantages to staying connected with your alma mater and many individuals wish to give back in some form post-graduation. The Western Marketing Program hopes you stay connected after you graduate, and here are some ways to do so.

1. Join the Alumni Association

The first way to stay connected to your alma mater would be to join the alumni association. For most universities there is a fee required to join. Usually, this is a reoccurring annual fee that is put towards alumni events, networking events, career services and scholarships for current students. For Western Washington University(opens in new window) specifically, the WWU Alumni Association(opens in new window) offers many different membership plans and rates spanning from 20-dollars for recent graduates to the most expensive 850-dollar sapphire lifetime joint membership. There are many different perks you get when you become a part of the Alumni Association, one of those being that it keeps you updated with events happening on campus. This means that you could get potential discounts on admissions to events held by the Western Marketing Program(opens in new window)

2. Volunteer Your Time

This is a great way to get in touch with current students and faculty as well as a great contribution to your resume. If you have yet to land your perfect career post-graduation, volunteering after graduation is a great way to ramp up your resume, mentions Stanford University in their article about involvement post-graduation. For the Marketing Program(opens in new window) specifically you can volunteer at events as well as get in contact with your past professors to find other opportunities within the program. Furthermore, the Student Marketing Association often has guest speakers come to their meetings to talk with students and give career advice, this would be a good opportunity to volunteer as well.  

3. Hire other Alumni and Students for Internships or Jobs

What’s a better place to find bright individuals who are desperately seeking opportunities than your alma mater? The advantage of turning to your alma mater first is that you have first-hand experience of what exactly the programs offer and what exactly the students are being taught, since you were taught the similar things. You will have a good reference of the types of skills that these students will have. Therefore, turning to your old school for recruitment of the best and brightest students is a great way to give back and may be a safer hiring decision. Imagine turning to an old professor of yours in the Marketing Program(opens in new window) for a recommendation on a marketing student recruitment. You would be able to start that journey with them knowing what kinds of things they were taught and be able to be more confident in your hiring decision. 

4. Keep in Contact with Past Professors

A great way to stay involved is to connect with past professors. This can help with finding recruits as previously mentioned, since they would be able to recommend the best students to you. While that is important, many professors also look for success stories to show their current students. This is really beneficial for current students, to be able to give students advice and a networking opportunity can give a lot of ease to those who are unsure about their futures. It also keeps you relevant in these professors’ minds which might lead to future opportunities for you as well, since they are more likely to recommend you for things if you stay connected. If you follow this link to the faculty directory(opens in new window) and scroll to the finance and marketing section you can get the emails of all professors in the program, as well as searching for them individually on LinkedIn(opens in new window).   

5. Give What You Can

In the same article by Stanford University, the author Michael Kirst(opens in new window) mentions how after you graduate most colleges will begin to reach out to you to make donations. These donations are usually used for the same things as the alumni association funds, meaning it funnels into scholarships and programs. Which can help marketing students in need get the education that they deserve. Now, I realize that new alumni do not always have a lot of extra spending money to donate to a college. However, whether it is a 5-dollar or a 500-dollar donation it can make a valuable difference. A great place to do this is at events such as Give Day(opens in new window), held by the Marketing Program(opens in new window) exclusively so that you can ensure you are giving back to the program you graduated from. 

In Conclusion

I encourage you to consider getting connected and staying involved with both WWU(opens in new window) post-graduation and the Marketing Program(opens in new window). Consider using the five different ways that I have outlined here or find your own way to connect. However, it will be beneficial to both you and the school if you do.