September 10th, 2015
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UIET, Panjab University – Our Play Ground
Foraying into an untapped market is always exciting and even more so when you are extremely passionate about it. We are an education sector consulting & service provider who helps institutions harness the power of platforms & networks. Our belief in alumni playing a key role in developing an institute and the network itself was strengthened with UIET, Panjab University giving us an opportunity to explore our potential.
With months of R & D put into concrete plans, we were ready to execute our idea at the grass root level. It started by setting up an institutional alumni office on campus and getting basic resources in place. With systems and structures ready, the only thing missing were people. We went ahead and recruited a student volunteer team under the brand – STAR (Student Team for Alumni Relations) along with formed a Faculty team to help support the office.
After an intensive training of STAR, we set out on our first task – the most integral part of it all – Data! Through various data gathering techniques and campaigns, we managed to track 50% alumni (UIET has 3000+ alumni since its first pass out batch of 2006) in a short span of time. We also went ahead and created social media channels to reach out to them regularly so as to start engaging alumni with their alma mater (Some facts: Alumni group on Facebook saw 300% growth from 200 to 800 members; more than 100% growth in members on LinkedIn group from 400 to 900). Newsletters became a monthly feature and in no time, an alumni website was created! The real joy came with our first set of meetings with alumni and to see their excitement to connect back with their alma mater, reassured our idea.
Alumni engagement on campus began with a lot of interactions with students, having alumni give feedback to the curriculum, projects evaluation and lots more. Students were very open to the idea of reaching out to their alumni and so the alumni mentorship program was launched to help them with queries regarding their career. The alumni movement was building and an Alumni Reunion was held to bring together alumni from different walks of life so as to connect back with their old classmates, their favourite teachers and meet the current batch of students to impart some good old fashioned ‘gyaan’.
Career Advancement of students was a key focus and alumni were posting internship and job opportunities for students to avail. Apart from this, alumni were giving first hand tips to students on how to crack the companies which they were in for the placement season. This ever growing network also branched out to different city based chapters so that alumni could start connecting with each other in the cities they lived. To top it all off, alumni giving back to their alma mater is quite a huge milestone with UIET being such a young college and the office having just started. Scholarships for students have started pouring in and now there is no looking back!
UIET entrusted us with the responsibility of setting and managing its alumni office and our passion for creating long term value in the education sector through an institute’s alumni just took it to another level. The journey is still ongoing and has its ups & downs constantly but isn’t that what happens on a playground while you are playing?