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Making tomorrow’s history today: the importance of alumni

The benefits of school or college don’t end when you graduate – the power of your Alma mater community will pay you lifelong dividends.

Mukund Manohar

info@thearabianstories.com

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Most of us are nostalgic about the time we spent in school and we often reminisce and refer to it as the best days of our lives. Those were the days when we had no real responsibilities other than to study well. We were young, enthusiastic and embraced life with a passion. The take away from school was so much more than just an education; and students, past and present are what a school is all about.

ISMA recently organized a charity cricket match and raised more than OMR 5,000 to support students from financially weak families. – Photo Supplied

Past students attain a lifetime role as an alumni and they symbolize the prestige of their educational institution. The success of the graduates directly relates to the education and knowledge they gained from their Alma mater. The educational institution earns a reputation for producing intelligent, innovative and successful graduates and alumni play a major role in determining the future and continued development of their Alma mater.

As an alumni it is vital that you get involved in the alumni association at your institution. Following are some of the ways you as an Alumni can give back to your Alma mater:

  • Become a Mentor –Successful alumni have the power to inspire, motivate, and support students from their Alma mater. Your knowledge, experience, and insight will help students maximize their education experience and open their eyes to the opportunities and challenges they will face after graduation. Mentoring is an easy way to make a real, lasting impact on the student community.
  • Sponsor a child– Thomas Jefferson wrote 100 years ago, “that the children of the poor must be thus educated at common expense.” Scholarships and education donations open doors for students from low-income families, by providing tuition assistance for those who need it most. Your donations can help academic high-achievers overcome economic disadvantages and gain a valuable asset – a quality education. 
  • Networking– Top international universities host alumni meetups in major cities across the globe, and staying connected with the alumni network helps you tap into an incredibly valuable resource – all with whom you have one thing in common with. Whether you are looking for an Accountant in Paris or an Investment advisor in New York, your alumni network will be able to make these connections for you. Attending alumni events and networking help build relationships over the long-term.
  • Volunteer & Get Involved – As per Marts & Lundy, a leading philanthropic consulting firm, 88% of educational institutions actively promote alumni volunteer opportunities. Volunteer programs help increase volunteerism, help in networking and career advancement and also build a greater sense of community. Getting involved in the leadership of your Alumni association or even volunteering your time and skills contribute to the long term goal of increasing the brand and raising the visibility of your institution.
  • Donate– Alumni donations can help make a significant contribution to your alma mater and help in promoting valuable programs and initiatives. Your donations can also be used to help continually improve the education experience of the students and keep the institutions competitive and appealing. Institutions with alumni contributions find it easier to procure funds and donations from outside organizations. 

The bond, experiences and life events that the Alumni share are unique and exclusive; and only fellow Alumni can relate and appreciate it. Alumni Associations aim to expand and integrate the network of their Alumni worldwide, relive the nostalgia and help you connect with your Alma mater. Alumni associations across the globe also provide a range of benefits to their Alumni like discounts on products and services in their local cities, preferred legacy admissions for siblings and children, sporting and networking events and other fringe benefits. The benefits of school or college don’t end when you graduate – the power of your Alma mater community will pay you lifelong dividends. 

Alumni associations these days are utilizing technology and tools to connect with their Alumni across the globe. They are making use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep you abreast of all activities and helps you stay connected with your Alma Mater. Reach out to your Alumni Association today, connect with fellow alumni and find ways to give back to your institution!

The writer, Mukund Manohar is the President of Indian School Muscat Alumni and an Investment Governance & Audit Professional at the State General Reserve Fund.

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