A common refrain in popular culture is “it’s not what you know, but who.” Experience has proven this true time and again. People with networks of established professionals get more informational interviews, resume reviews, and access to exclusive job postings. If you’re starting your own company, your network is your pool of early venture capital. In sizing up your network, you should consider any college or corporate alumni influence networks you belong to.
College alumni groups are more commonly recognized for what they are. The university maintains these networks for fundraising purposes, but the alumni themselves get their own benefits. Alumni groups provide community, access to expertise and mentors, and even discounts for certain services. In the investment world, 1 in 3 venture capital investments occurred because the founder and investor shared an alma mater.
Corporate alumni groups are a bit different. 98% of Fortune 500 companies have some form of alumni program. The company uses it to drive referrals (“boomerang hires”), boost business development, and build community. Businesses that actively engage alumni see up to a 44% increase in net new business. Alumni brand advocates are worth at least 5 times as much as average customers. Engage your network today.
Infographic provided by: AcademicInfluence.com