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International Alumni Relations: The Neglected Tool in Your Strategic Recruiting Arsenal?

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Intead and Academic Assembly surveyed over 1,000 insitutions on their int’l alumni engagement practices – come see what they had to say and discover best practices for leveraging your global alumni.

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International Alumni Relations: The Neglected Tool in Your Strategic Recruiting Arsenal?

  1. 1. Global Alumni Management for U.S. Institutions The State of the Field in 2017 ______________________________ Kate Mattern, Intead Gretchen Dobson, Academic Assembly, Inc.
  2. 2. What are Global Alumni? • Any internationally-located alumni, including: • Student who came from abroad to study in the US • Domestic students who relocated after graduation
  3. 3. Why are Global Alumni Important? • Powerful brand ambassadors: • Fundraising • Recruitment • Student employment opportunities • A resource you already have.
  4. 4. Our Research • 103 respondents overall • Representing US post-secondary institutions • All involved in: • Development • Admissions • International affairs • Or alumni management
  5. 5. Our Research We asked about: • Current practices • Rating of consistency and effectiveness • Areas of frustration • How much the work is valued
  6. 6. Current Practice
  7. 7. Staffing
  8. 8. Number of cities • 33% (32): Working in 5+ or more international cities • 19% (19): Working in <5 international cities • 27% (26): Not managing global alumni at all
  9. 9. Frequency of contact • Once or twice a year: 23% (23) • A few times per month: 7% (7) • A few times per week: 10% (10) • Never: 11% (11) • Don’t know/prefer not to answer: 19% (19)
  10. 10. Online or in-person? .• Not managing at all: 27% (26) • Don’t know/prefer not to answer: 9% (9) • Online only: 22% (22) • In-person only: 4% (4) • A combination: 38% (37)
  11. 11. How’s it working?
  12. 12. .
  13. 13. The Headaches
  14. 14. Data Management
  15. 15. CRM .• None: 35% (34) • Don’t know: 25% (24) • Other (including home-grown systems): 39% (37) • Razor’s Edge: 6% (6) • Graduway or Aluminati: 2% (2) • Prefer not to answer: 1% (1)
  16. 16. Data Management . “No historic effort has been made to ensure we enter data correctly (according to the address systems of their country), or to keep [student’s] information updated.”
  17. 17. Data Management . “We have a home grown database for our alumni. I don't love it, but it's unlikely to change.”
  18. 18. Data Management . “Our Alumni office has no data or tracking. It is not something that Admissions can take on without their buy in and support.”
  19. 19. . Asked about top 3 impediments to growth in this area… • 49% of respondents (48) included either: • We don’t track our international alumni or • CRM difficulties (no CRM system in place, poorly managed CRM, etc.)
  20. 20. Resources
  21. 21. Resources .• Remember: 59% have no dedicated staffing for this. • 38% of respondents (37) identified insufficient money as one of their top 3 impediments • 51% said the same of insufficient time. • Time is money!
  22. 22. Resources .Top 3: With an extra $24k, what would you do? • International events and staff travel: 32% (31) • More staff: 25% (24) • Enhancements to CRM: 8% (8)
  23. 23. Support
  24. 24. Support . Respondents personally valued international alumni management. “Very important to…” • Increased international recruitment: 59% (57) • Increased brand awareness: 56% (53) • Increased employment and networking opportunities for students: 48% (45)
  25. 25. Support . “Do you think that you get the internal leadership support that you need to effectively run an international alumni program?” 67% say NO
  26. 26. Support . “Need support from the top management level and for them to provide funding...” “We don’t have the support of our institutional leadership.” “The senior leadership team is all for building an international alumni network…. [but] it would take more physical, financial, and human resources dedicated to our office.”
  27. 27. So… what do we do?
  28. 28. #1: Pay Attention to Data. Output is only as good as input. “You don’t know what you don’t know”
  29. 29. Embrace and Leverage a New Definition: Transnational Alumni
  30. 30. New definition (Dobson, 2015) responds to the need for a more detailed understanding of alumni dynamics in an increasingly complex global mobility landscape. • Alumni that conduct their personal and professional lives within two or more countries. – Studied at an institution in their home country but reside abroad. – Reside in the country where their alma mater is based, but who have had extensive experience abroad. • Additionally, institutions may identify and track graduates of offshore, joint or double-degree programs as transnational alumni. A New Definition: Transnational Alumni
  31. 31. • International undergraduates on study abroad • International ESL students • International Post-Docs (researchers, Fulbright) • International faculty fellows • International honorary degree recipients Strategic Move: Identify and Engage “Other” International Alumni and Friends
  32. 32. • More international student exchange programs • Undergraduate, graduate and executive education sponsored by more 2+ universities • Int’l fellows/visiting faculty • Distance learning • MOOCs Prepare for Non-Traditional Affinities (and create records in student and advance databases!)
  33. 33. #2: Understand the Big Picture . Create an International Data Management Task Force  Alumni  Development  Advancement Research  Info Technology  Careers/Employment  Registrar/Enrollment Management  Recruitment
  34. 34. Leaders must Support this Notion International Alumni Relations is a Shared Agenda . Plan Together Budget Together Manage Expectations Together Cross-Training for International Officers
  35. 35. CROSS TRAINING • Central and school-based alumni relations • Admissions/Recruitment • Meet Counselors and Agents • Parent/Family programs** • Development • Alumni & Development Hybrid role Demonstrate Value for Your Collective Efforts Abroad
  36. 36. #3: Quality over Quantity . Choose one or two regions based on an assessment of demographics, academic interests and opportunity to sustain international activity
  37. 37. The 4 Pillars of Engagement Copyright 2010 Gretchen Dobson Admissions Academics Alumni Development
  38. 38. #4: Invest in Alumni Volunteers . “Our Past is our Future” Goal: Sustainability Opportunity: Alumni
  39. 39. The 5 “I’s” of Outreach and Engagement℠ Identify Invite Inform
  40. 40. The 5 “I’s” of Outreach and Engagement℠ Invest Impact
  41. 41. #5: At all Times, Demonstrate Value Reputation Management Branding Recruitment Employability Public Diplomacy Financial Resources to Sustain Internationalization
  42. 42. In Closing… . The Cost of Doing Nothing is Greater than Doing Something
  43. 43. Download the White Paper http://info.intead.com/global- alumni-management
  44. 44. Thank You! ______________________________ Kate Mattern, Intead kmattern@intead.com Gretchen Dobson, Academic Assembly, Inc. gretchen.dobson@academicassembly.com

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