By Jessica Lyons
Most colleges and universities have some sort of alumni association or department that focuses on keeping graduates connected. Whether you're a recent graduate or earned your diploma several years ago, it's a good idea to reach out to your school's alumni office and register with your contact information. That way you'll be able to take advantage of the benefits associated with being an alumnus.
A Way to Keep in Touch
Being a part of an alumni association gives you a chance to keep in touch with classmates you might have lost contact with. For example, Boston College has an 'alumni online community' that includes a directory of its grads. In addition to helping you maintain personal relationships, alumni associations can also assist you in creating professional relationships through networking opportunities.
Some alumni offices are able to connect you with career search help. Through Dartmouth's 'Vox Online Network,' graduates can get career advice from alumni who are willing to share their knowledge. Other services offered include access to job postings and career resources. At Vassar College, there is a Career Center where graduates can search job openings, post their resume or visit the Career Development Office.
Alumni could also be given the chance for further education. Boston College offers its graduates campus-based and online lectures, programs and workshops while Wagner College has professional development courses for alums. Davison College even has an 'Alumni College' that coordinates educational opportunities.
Of course, most schools organize alumni reunions, but there are many other events also held for graduates. This could include networking events or alumni weekends. Alumni can also receive discount tickets to their alma mater's sporting events and possibly attend special gatherings before or after the games.
Taking advantage of your alumnus status could help you save money too. Some schools have participating businesses that will give their alums special discounts on things like home, auto or health insurance. At Vassar, graduates even have the chance to get a discount on computers.
Are you a working adult who's thinking about going back to school? Check out these tips for choosing the right career education program.