Having a professional influence network is beneficial for both students and professionals. Influence networks can lead to true community and deep relationships, access to mentorship opportunities, and beneficial networking with other professionals. Both educational institutions and corporations can see amazing returns when investing in strong influence networks.
Colleges typically see an increase in fundraising from a well-nurtured network while corporations are able to gain access to a larger labor pool, more sales, good referrals, and a positive evangelist community. Other benefits of an actively engaged influence network include an increase in new business, brand image, and brand supporters. Having a robust influence network can also aid in getting enough funding when creating a startup as investors are more willing to contribute if the founder is someone they went to college or university with.
Gaining an influence network means staying involved, whether it’s through giving life updates or sharing your industry expertise at events. When contacting an alum, it’s best to explain who you are and why you are contacting in the first place. An informational interview can help you learn possible career paths, necessary skills you need, and open internship opportunities that can help you professionally. Remember to send a personalized thank you the next day if you do.
Colleges and corporations need to create a strong strategy that can keep their influence networks engaged. Institutions of higher education can keep members of influence networks interested by emphasizing the benefits, creating attractive content, and providing alumni opportunities to stay in touch. It’s important to stay alert when chances for you to give back to your influence network arise as taking advantage of them can one day help you in the future.
Infographic provided by: AcademicInfluence.com