Why should Alumni stay in contact with students throughout their careers?

16 January 2017

Why should Alumni stay in contact with students throughout their careers?

By Luisa Dunn, Employer Relations Manager, Henley Careers

Luisa reached out to Symon Garfield, Digital Workplace Lead, Deloitte UK, to ask his reasons for his continued involvement with Henley and its current students and the benefits for his career.

By Luisa Dunn, Employer Relations Manager, Henley Careers

In the run up to the Christmas and New Year break and being in a particularly reflective mood, I reached out to Symon Garfield, MSc Business and Management Research, 2016, now Digital Workplace Lead, Deloitte UK for his thoughts on why he has continued to stay in contact with Henley Business School. Simon has come to campus a couple of times this term already to share his insights and wisdom on careers in consulting with MBA and undergraduate students.

I asked him to share his reasons for coming back and what it is about connecting with students that is so rewarding for him. He offered the following four responses:

  1. Recruitment
    A key reason to retunr to Henley is to take advantage of the links with the careers team in order to recruit more students from Henley, particularly if you feel your organisation has roles that would be suitable. Alumni are by far the most powerful ambassadors of the talent at Henley and they can speak openly and honestly with students about work culture and career opportunities.
  1. Business Ideas
    Symon shared that he was recently approached by a group of four MBA students who have their own consulting start-up. They were looking to share their own ideas and learn from his expertise. Some sectors, like professional services, are increasingly developing schemes to reward employees for recommending start-ups. You never know what opportunity might land in your lap and the exchange of ideas can be stimulating and enriching.
  1. Networking
    Even if you’re not in the market to hire students or recommend their ideas, coming on campus and attending events like employer panels or industry speaker events can be fun and useful for your own career. You might meet a competitor to bounce ideas around with, or potential suppliers or clients and other contacts who can facilitate introductions to key targets. In Symon’s words, these events are like professional networking conferences, so you never know if a chance meeting may lead to a new business project or client account.
  1. Referrals
    Returning to events at Henley can be a great way to earn some extra money if your organisation supports hiring through referrals. If not, you can qualify good students/contacts at alumni (or related) recruitment events arranged by the Business School. Sometimes the best hires come from referrals, and keeping track of the fantastic Henley talent out there can open many doors, not just for the candidates but for the referrers too! Don’t forget that even the referred candidates that don’t get recruited can end up becoming strong ambassadors for you and your organisations.

These are just some of the many reasons that maintaining strong links with Henley Business School, even after graduation, can continue to benefit you in your ongoing career. Keeping in contact with the careers team will allow you the opportunity to access Henley talent, to share your knowledge, be exposed to new ideas, act as an ambassador for your organisation and ensure you get the best people for you.

If you would like to connect with the Careers team to discuss upcoming opportunities, ways to support the development of current students or even to get some advice for yourself, take a look at the Career pages or call us on +44 (0)118 478 5420.