by Gretchen Dobson (Gretchen Dobson, LLC)
Today, international alumni relations looks and feels:
- Underdeveloped (or under-resourced)
- Fragmented within different units
- A virtual community (LinkedIn/Facebook)
- A last-minute necessity
Successful programs require leadership support, designated staff management, volunteer engagement and resources such as budgets and updated data.
With current databases, our efforts are only as good as the information we have -- or the information we are getting today. How are we tracking international alumni? Does this area need a thorough review before we start outreach? Can we begin to track international students better?
POLLING ALUMNI RELATIONS PROFESSIONALS
In a recent online training with Academic Impressions increasing international alumni engagement, I asked participants what their greatest challenge was in engaging international alumni.
More than 85% of responses agreed that incomplete, insufficient, old, and/or the lack of international alumni databases proved their most challenging obstacle.
As a follow up to it, I want to offer these five tips for improving international data management practices:
For more from Gretchen Dobson, see:
- Outreach to International Alumni: The Opportunities You May Be Missing
- Representing Your Institution Overseas: Leveraging Your Alumni as a Key Resource
- Two detailed scenarios for Planning for Advancement Efforts Overseas