ARC [Colleges] - International Alumni Engagement


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Presentation on International Alumni Engagement. Presented at Alumni Relations Conference held at ISB, Mohali [India] on 29th March, 2014.


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  • Fragmented – Central vs. Schools --- even Academic Depts having their own relationshipsPerhaps just a social media communityOr, you find out your president will be receiving an honorary degree in London and you are asked to coordinate an alumni event!
  • Alumni abroad become knowledgeable recruiters and referral agents.Relevance is key : involving alumni in the life of all students during the most challenging environment for employability.
  • Resources:Current database – our efforts are only as good as the information we have – or are getting today. How are we tracking intl alumni? Does this area need a thorough review before we start? Can we begin to track international students better??Volunteers --- identify, invite, inform, invest and IMPACTAnd…can you describe exactly what other offices are doing in terms of international engagement? Do you know which staff members are working abroad, what resources they have and the nature of their relationships? “An international barometer”
  • Example: Tufts in Turkey – Ali Sabanci agreed to be a founding member of chapter on my first visit in 2005 --- 2012 hosted University in Turkey --- 8 years later after much stewardship and involvementBudget and Resources --- a 9 month planning period……checking progressStaff proves they are more valuable abroad when cross training to represent admission, development, family program offices – use time effectively; learn and collaborate; break down SILOSVolunteers --- identify, invite, inform, invest and IMPACTWe are going to come back to the ROI of engaging your international communities later in our webcast
  • SUNY Buffalo’s main question……stress this example hereIf you put the Intl student hat on --- what are their perspectives once they graduate?? Influence them before they graduate… discussing this slide, Gretchen will refer to recent Interview with Wei Loon from SUNY Buffalo on Jan 15:Leong brings with him expertise in international education marketing, project management and business development and has a global perspective that he says will help him deal with the many different experiences, cultures and values that prevail among UB’s 230,000 graduates from more than 130 countries.Leong says he was impressed as well that the UB strategic plan “Realizing UB 2020” recognizes that the challenges and opportunities faced by this university are determined in part by the larger forces taking shape on the national and global levels.“The fact that one of the UB 2020 goals is to enhance the visibility, value and reputation of UB at the international level means that the full force of the university will be behind our international alumni efforts,” he says.Leong: “I was a student here before so I have an advantage to see this from an intl alumni perspectiveUB’s intl office improved a lot for students….my main challenge was to answer “why do I need to give back and be engaged?”Typical quote from his alumni -- “I paid my dues which were higher than instate, so I don’t know why I would need to reinvest again “ This may be less challenging for domestic alums….AR has been around for 100+ years….Key challenge is WHY I NEED TO BE INVOLED?? WHY GIVE?Und and MBA – WL had an assistantship for his MBA so he does feel a sense that he wants to give back…..In Beijing I was still a volunteer ---Intl Education Office was shouldering IAR rather than AR --- but now here was an oppty to take this ahead and lead in this area….I felt a need to give back.As a majority, intl students are passive – some come here with culture and language challenges…once they pay twice as much to go, and they get the ASK, they ask WHY??Intl student engagement and philanthropy is a focus (just as domestic student philanthropy is a concern)..My work in IAR is a little harder than the domestic alumni team because of this awareness….Some of the challenges are due to a lapsed contact info….Deans and other offices asked how are you going to fix it???? What goes in, what comes out….databases need to be custom to record right dataFocus of his time – spent on intl student programs – how UB has serviced them outside the classroom? Is UB doing enough outside the class…. career services is one; internships Wei Loon has a good team that helps with AWA record management, prospect management…..updating info is a constant : a struggle and an improvement..WL is now asking those who travel to share the contact info of those they meet --- anyone --- friends are key as well…20% of his time is travel….next trip to Japan and China – 75% of intl alumni are in China, Korea, India and Japan ..** UB 2020 Presidential Tour – 20 Cities in 20 Months….Beijing, HK and Tokyo…heading to Tokyo in April..The 2020 Tour Is President’s priority: ”We must follow up before the fire dies down” – He has leadership support, he is key staff member and he has a budget – now he needs volunteersUsed to manage the Intl School in Beijing --- parent school in SingI used IAR will be a new thing; UB has been doing it on a vol basis but now we are making it a priority --- formalizing efforts with the new post.
  • Structure of chapters/groups -- by-laws or governing rules may be best to establish if chapter will register with American Embassy as a formally recognized group -- more structure may be better with some more formal cultures – Korea, Japan-- less structure for other groups that will have a steering committee structure – many interested in leading or piloting a program – Australia, UK
  • BUILD SCALE AND STEWARD RESOURCES EFFECTIVELYWhen I was at Tufts, we joined with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; our peers at Columbia, Johns Hopkins and Georgetown joined us 7 years straight. Change is necessary and healthy, though, and the program was retired but relationships were maintained. Big benefits to build scale and provide your alumni added value – more networking with others, intellectual topics, tackling current events….being relevant in a busy place like London
  • Can you identify the four pillars of engagement in your most active international hubs? Is your strategy to develop and support admissions efforts, alumni communities, academic programs and partnerships, all in an effort to build a strong case for support? Can the “three A’s” – admissions, alumni, and academics – provide enough anecdotal evidence to institutional leadership, prospective students and prospective donors that they should support a strengthened presence in that region of the world?
  • Relationships take time!!Measure efforts at each stage – The 5 “I’s”: Identify, Invite, Inform, Invest and IMPACT
  • BUILD SCALE AND STEWARD RESOURCES EFFECTIVELYWhen I was at Tufts, we joined with the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; our peers at Columbia, Johns Hopkins and Georgetown joined us 7 years straight. Change is necessary and healthy, though, and the program was retired but relationships were maintained. Big benefits to build scale and provide your alumni added value – more networking with others, intellectual topics, tackling current events….being relevant in a busy place like London
  • Christine/Gwen – let’s share this link during the webinar: -- Slide 11 and Slide 31
  • ARC [Colleges] - International Alumni Engagement

    1. 1. #arcindia International Alumni Engagement Session Delivery: Ms. Gretchen Dobson & Ms. Liza Boffen
    2. 2. #arcindia - Setting the Context and Understanding the Value Proposition - Tactical Steps: - Managing Expectations of Alumni settled abroad - Paying Attention to Culture - Managing Data and Communication - Managing Volunteers and building relationships from a distance - Programs for a Global Alumni Body - Exercise: Assessing Readiness and Understanding the International Story at your Institution Session Flow
    3. 3. #arcindia IN 2014, INTERNATIONAL ALUMNI RELATIONS LOOKS AND FEELS… • Underdeveloped (or, under-resourced) • Fragmented within different units • A virtual community (LinkedIn/Facebook) • A last-minute necessity Setting The Context
    4. 4. #arcindia VALUE FOR… Strengthening reputation and raising brand awareness Enhancing international student recruitment channels Connecting alumni and all students for professional development assistance Involving international alumni donors in programs that contribute to pipeline of support VALUE FOR… VALUE FOR… VALUE FOR … Relationships Abroad Add Value
    5. 5. #arcindia LEADERSHIP SUPPORT • President/Provost • Deans/Directors • Trustees/Board • Alumni leaders • Central or shared? • International planning • In-kind support • Current database • Chief Advancement Officer • Designated Alumni Officers • Identify • Inform • Invite • Invest BUDGET AND RESOURCES STAFFING VOLUNTEERS – 4 “I’s” How Do You Know You’re Ready?
    6. 6. #arcindia LEADERSHIP SUPPORT • Partners as volunteers • Influencers • “Chapter Founding Members” • Intl outreach requires campus-wide commitment • 9 mo. Planning cycle • Alumni Officers become campus experts for int’l outreach • Cross-Training for Admissions and Development The 5th I: IMPACT: • Referrals • Leadership roles • In-Kind Support grows BUDGET AND RESOURCES STAFFING VOLUNTEERS How Do You Know You’re Making Progress (RoI)?
    7. 7. #arcindia TIME, TALENT, TREASURE AND TECHNOLOGY – THE TRANSFER OF THESE DIFFERS BY CULTURE A. Understand the culture of international countries of interest—philanthropy or a business deal B. Know the agenda for your institution C. Seek advice from international liaisons and reciprocate in turn (host campus visits, appropriate admissions advice, introductions) D. Training trainers: international students, regional international volunteers as ambassadors, fundraising agents, advocates and allies Pay Attention To Culture…
    8. 8. #arcindia 5 Tips for Improving International Data Management • Know the Depth of Current Data and Create Records for ―Non-Traditional‖ alumni, members, donors • ―Internationalize‖ Current Systems • Form an International Data Management Working Group for your institution/organization • Promote the Lifelong Relationship early and often with international students and younger constituents • Improve the level of engagement with international alumni and members at-large
    9. 9. #arcindia DO  Establish routine communication  Develop volunteer training  Know benefits of more structure than less  Plan ahead (but know optimal times for programs)  Create community  Collaborate and build scale  Treat one region like the other  Forget some countries honor seniority  Underestimate the value of ―other‖ networks  Rely on social media to do your job – build relationships in person  Separate domestic and international programs – build global community DON’T Managing Volunteers From A Distance
    10. 10. #arcindia Office of International Alumni Programs At GWU
    11. 11. #arcindia Social Media Engagement and Outreach Stats  9 Regional Facebook Pages with 4750+  497 members of Chinese RenRen  382 LinkedIn International Alumni Members
    12. 12. #arcindia The 4 Pillars Of Engagement
    13. 13. #arcindia Admissions/Recruitment Academic Programs Alumni Relations Development/Fundraising Exercise: Assessing The International Story At Your Institution…
    14. 14. #arcindia Question & Answer Period….
    15. 15. #arcindia • Council for the Advancement and Support of Education • • Association of International Education Administrators • AIEA – • European Association for International Education • EAIE – • Asia-Pacific Association for International Education • Professional Associations
    16. 16. #arcindia LinkedIn Communities such as the International Advancement Professionals – a subgroup of CASE Academic Impressions – Higher Education Impact daily and weekly blogs Gretchen Dobson LLC – blogs, articles, interviews… Social Media & Online Tools
    17. 17. #arcindia Dobson, G. (2011). Being Global: Making the Case for International Alumni Relations. Feudo, J. (2009). Alumni Relations: A Newcomer’s Guide to Success. Morrison and Conaway, (XXX) Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands, 2nd Edition (Adams Media). A primer on international etiquette and business practices Books
    18. 18. #arcindia • AI Higher Ed Impact: Weekly News & Takeaways – A new monthly blog on international travel management • Websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions • • For expedited passports and visas • International Travel