Anyone can benefit from a strong influence network when used correctly. As alumni, we usually have a strong sense of loyalty to our previous employers or alma maters, and this is represented by the fact that 98% of Fortune 500 companies have some kind of alumni program. For the professional individual, an influence network can help with getting promotions, finding the next job, getting informational interviews to know what career to have, and creating meaningful relationships with others.
Colleges and corporations also can benefit from investing in strong influence networks but with varying goals. Colleges focus on fundraising while corporations use influence networks to help with hiring, sales, and business development. In fact, businesses with an active influence network can usually see an almost 50% increase in business as well as a 10% rise in brand sentiment. Having a large influence network has also shown to be a very important factor for early stage financing for startups as investors are more likely to help founders who are from their alma mater.
You can have a strong influence network you can use if you stay involved. This could mean sharing career updates or attending alumni events where you can share your knowledge with others. You can ask an alum to meet for coffee or lunch for an informational interview that can help you learn about potential career paths as well as career advice, but remember to send a genuine thank you note afterwards.
Colleges and businesses can build strong influence networks if they’re able to keep alumni engaged. A good strategy is to motivate alumni to get in touch by sharing campus news, recognizing alumni achievements, using nostalgia, and creating great networking opportunities. Building an influence network can happen at any time, but starting as early as university will help you when you launch your career.
Infographic provided by: AcademicInfluence.com