Uche Gift Charlene

My Role as an Alumnus to my Alma Mater and Alumni Association
Written by: Uche Gift Charlene (Pink House, 2006 Set)

I was a graduate of Federal Government College, Ikom in 2006. My time at FGC, Ikom has not only shaped my life but has influenced me with my current passions and interests. As a proud alumnus of FGC Ikom, I have has taken advantage of what I have learnt in six years from the school to become a better person which is the reason why I have a role as an alumnus to my alma mata.

I strongly believe that maintaining a positive relationship with my alumni means that the message that is share about my institution will also be positive – and current. Accessing relevant and up to date information about the school is great source of sustaining its name and popularity hence the reason to partner with the school through the alumni platform to ensure that such news, gossips about the school are not out-of-date and are the relevant truth about the institution because to control this, in today’s world of social media influence could reflect poorly on the true progress of my dear school, therefore the alumni provides the platform to review and rebrand such messages were necessary, this should be a responsibility to make sure that message is passed correctly through the numerous means available.

The lesson I have learnt over the years that students gain from talking to and exchanging ideas with alumni and form that also help them to develop valuable networking skills. The point here is that successful alumni can be very influential role models to current students of their Alma mater because of the bond they share as former students, and having gone through similar challenges that current students may be facing. Years of knowledge and life experiences that alumni have gained professionally and personally shared with students could make a pivotal difference in their lives. Alumni could therefore be a source a vital source of career and character guidance and also help to transmit the essence of school spirit, culture and beliefs from one of generation of students to the next.

Students, past and present, are what any institution should be all about. Faculty and staff are vital as well, but students are unique in that they will forever fill a role—whether they are current students or long graduated. It would be easy to lose track of most graduates after they embark on their various careers, but doing so would be a huge mistake on any college’s part.

Why? They create the college’s reputation, which relies in large part on how successful graduates are in the real world. This process is self-feeding as well. If a school becomes well known for producing graduates that are intelligent, innovative, and effective in their fields, then its reputation will grow. New graduates will have better job prospects because they went to a well-known school, and the process will continue.

Maintaining communication channels with alumni means I can keep others who may have lost the vision of our dear college informed of the achievements and make them part of our institution's future, not just its past. Good alumni relations benefit alumni as well as the institution. If I support our alumni in my professional and personal lives through activities such as the facilitation of social and professional networks, preferential access to on-campus expertise and facilities and negotiated benefits with third-party suppliers, others are likely to be your loyal life-long supporters. My support may also help our alumni achieve positions of success and influence, which will in turn benefit our institution as they begin to give back.

By helping the institution become bigger, stronger and more successful, our alumni are also enhancing the value of their own degree qualification through my support.

Some of the things that I can do are as follows;

Using Internet technology for career development, networking, amplifying nostalgia, providing learning opportunities, and helping alumni transition to different phases of their lives.

Integrating Internet technology into each department within the alumni association.

Partnering with social/business networking communities and relevant websites.

Nearly all colleges are using technology to cut costs, speed up communications, and better inform alumni. Nearly all colleges have leveraged social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to engage alumni, but only small minority are actively using the Internet to help alumni build successful career strategies, provide learning opportunities and help them transition through phases in their lives. So today, so much more than nearly a decade ago, alumni relations professionals have an opportunity to rebrand their roles and functions by focusing events and programming around careers.

What if I rebrand our alumni association around careers? What if I decided that our number one reason for being– the number one reason our alumni association existed– is to help grads and alumni launch and lead successful careers? This complete refocus requires me to drop events and activities, and adding new ones might focus on helping alumni launch and lead successful careers, as well as enjoy changes in job descriptions and even titles!

Long Live FGC Ikom!!!! Long Live Our Alma-Mata!!!!!

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