Engaging and inspiring alumni stories can encourage prospects to apply to your university and strengthen your institution’s brand and reputation. Here are four ways to get your graduated students’ stories out there.
Hold showcase events
Events are the most direct way to show off your alumni. Organise dedicated showcases and invite prospective students and members of your corporate community to see what students at your university are capable of.
Imperial College’s alumni zone is held as part of the college’s annual alumni weekend. It gives former students a chance to exhibit the products and businesses they have developed since graduation and provides prospects with an inspiring example of what can be achieved at the institution.
Lots of unis hold alumni events themed around the talents of a specific set of former students. City University shows off the musical ability of its alumni by organising City Summer Sounds Music Festival.
It's also a good idea to invite members of your alumni community to other events you’re holding. For example, alumni could speak or field questions at open days, webinars and other recruitment events.
Plymouth University has a well-designed section on its site which lets visitors view alumni stories by department. Each interview goes into a good amount of detail about what the former student learnt at the uni and how they’ve applied these skills in their career. University of Sussex also runs regular interviews with successful alumni and additionally posts a student stories of the year bulletin.
In addition to written interviews, video interviews can be very effective. See the below compilation by University of Toronto. Alternatively, visit University of Cambridge’s YouTube channel to see videos featuring interviews with notable alumni including David Attenborough and Katharine Whitehorn.
A blog is a good way to keep your community updated about what your alumni are up to. See this example from Edinburgh Napier University. The uni often gets alumni involved by asking for their recommendations and suggestions (see their what’s your uni soundtrack? post).
Encourage alumni to write blogs themselves. This foregrounds your alumni’s individual perspectives and lends an authority to posts. See University of St Andrews' alumni blog as an example. Kingston University takes a different approach and lists the external and personal blogs which alumni write themselves independently.
LinkedIn’s alumni tool
This tool is a web page widget which displays statistics about your alumni network. Once you’ve added the widget to one of your site's pages, it can display data about where your alumni live and work and what industry they are in. Find more info here.
Ensure you publicise a variety of stories which represents the diversity of your alumni community, in terms of ethnicity, job industry and type of career. How does your university share alumni stories? Let us know by leaving a comment or tweeting us.