This post is for anyone who thinks attending college was a waste of time and money.
Sure, you now have student loans that will take years to pay off. In the short-term, it seems like a scary idea of being in debt before starting your career.
As your career progresses, you will eventually need to network for a new job. After reaching out to a couple of college friends, you start to see how that alumni network gained from your expensive education was the smartest investment you had ever made.
We explain several benefits of an alumni network below.
1. Lifelong Group of Friends
On graduation day, it is impossible for you to see why your alumni network is so important. You cannot see beyond career and life choices you have not made, yet.
You have high hopes. You want to attack the world and start your career! You also want some time away from those college friends you saw every day.
However, after a few years, you start to realize those friends from college are quite important. You both went through a special journey together. Your experiences had created an unspoken bond.
Both you, your friends, and anyone who went to the same college, suddenly become these people you would help without question. You connect with them on LinkedIn and share a couple of messages. Somehow, you both understand each other. All you did was attend the same college.
2. Networking on LinkedIn
Did you go to a large university like Penn State? You have a massive network on LinkedIn!
Did you go to an obscure college like Wagner College like me? You have a small tight-knit network and that is equally great.
We use Penn State as an example for a reason. The majority of people who reach out to Find My Profession attended Penn State. At the same time, we find many decision-makers at companies attended Penn State, too.
For schools like Wagner College, the network is smaller and equally strong. Being part of a small, exclusive network makes alumni feel a stronger obligation. On several occasions, alumni connections at Wagner College assisted me with networking and finding jobs. All those college majors I went to class with now had their networks, and I had mine.
3. Financial Benefits
Alumni benefits from universities may involve discounts on car, home, and health insurance. Some alumni associations offer disability or long-term care insurance.
If you don’t have benefits from your employer or you’re starting a business of your own, being part of an alumni association may offer benefits to help you.
4. Financial Services
University credit unions provide you with a number of advantages over your standard bank, including fewer fees and lower mortgage rates.
As an alumnus, these are still available to you. Schools often offer competitive interest rates on university branded cards, too.
Show your school spirit and secure some financial flexibility, if necessary.
5. Career Assistance
These benefits are useful at any point in your career. You may be making a career change or trying to get a promotion. Perhaps, you are looking to hire for your own company.
You can look through your university career center. Alumni are typically offered exclusive job postings, resume reviews, webinars, networking events, and a variety of online videos and resources free of charge.
Services like career counseling or alumni-only career fairs are also available and a great help for finding new jobs.
Finally, if you want to change your field of interest or learn some new skills, you can take advantage of continuing education classes or certificate programs. Alumni are usually offered deeply discounted rates.
You may be done with your degree, but continue to take advantage of the benefits your higher education provides!