An educational institution is the sum total of the ethos of an institution, the vision of the leader, the sharp-mindedness of the faculty members, the commitment of the staff members, the aspirations of the students and the gratitude of the alumni. An alumni network is an expanding and expanding identity of any educational institution. The feeling of going back to the alma-mater is a nostalgic visit, moreover, an expression of gratitude. The illustrious alumni base adds to the institutional heritage and serves as the wind under the wings for many young aspirants.
There is such a wind, rather a storm, at the Mysore-based National Institute of Engineering (NIE) – Narayana Murthy, the legendary Indian businessman and founder of Infosys, who shaped the Indian IT sector in the early 1990s and inspired thousands of young minds did. To be a first generation entrepreneur. Once Most Powerful CEO of India Inc.Narayana Murthy said, “No one cares more about an institution than its alumni”. As a man of his words, in 2016, he reached out to his alma-mater and went on a week long tour of the United States to find and reconnect with his fellow global alumni To make NIE a healthy institution and add immense value to the University.
There is a series of anecdotes related to alumni that resonate with each of us in our own way. In 2015, in a heartwarming conversation with an alumnus of the 1993-95 batch of KJ Somaiya Institute of Management, Senthil Kumar remembered his then director, Prof Arya, wishing every student on their birthday. called to give. Even after 25 years, he and his batch mates cherish it. It is these memories that bring alumni back to their alma-maters, affirming the influence of teachers on their former students.
The alma-mater is the nest that shelters millions of hearts with dreams and hopes, who over the years find their home on the global map. An institution expands beyond its physical campus through its alumni network. The shared values and bond that incoming, current and alumni share through a sense of belonging to their common alma-mater is enough to break the ice and establish a healthy relationship.
For an alumnus, helping build an alumni network is one of the selfless acts. Over the last ten years, Mehul Ashar, an alumnus of KJ Somaiya Institute of Management of 2002-04 batch, has been instrumental in building a strong Hyderabad alumni local circle for his alma-mater. As shared by most of the Hyderabad alums, “We have to attend when Mehul callsSuch is the power of peer-influence.
as Harvey Spector, fictional main character of the popular series Suit, They say, “Loyalty is a two way street“- also true for alumni relations. Initiatives of an institution’s alumni relations and active participation of alumni go hand in hand. Institutions strive, through meaningful alumni engagement, to regenerate are and thrive and so the alumni community explores, acquires and maintains with ALMA.-Mater’s involved involvement.
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Alums are ambassadors who create goodwill and trust of the institution in the society and professional ecosystem. Sometimes, alumni’s loyalty to their alma-mater can go far beyond the professional realm. With a 40-year legacy in management education and 13,000+ alumni across the globe, an example narrated by Jatindeep Sachdeva, alum of the KJ Somaiya Institute of Management, 1999-01 batch, is an example. Examples. He shared that four of his family members have done MBA from his alma-mater. The kind of trust and confidence that alumni can build for a brand is second to none.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has hit everyone hard on a personal and professional level, but it has certainly come with a silver lining for the alumni relationship. The pandemic has warmed many alumni networks and it is heartening to see the way alumni come together to help each other, their families and their alma-maters. The pandemic has led to a digital transformation with technology support to bring alumni networks closer in educational institutions. Platforms like LinkedIn (alumni tool for educational institution pages), WhatsApp and Telegram groups, Zoom video conferencing etc. have made it easier for institutes’ alumni offices to network with alumni and bring them back to campus virtually. has made it. 2X engagement during the pandemic year. Geographical barriers no longer exist, allowing alumni from any corner of the world to connect with their alma-mater with just a mouse-click. It is the alumni relations that pave the way from academic to corporate with regular interactions between alumni and students. Expressions of gratitude to alumni can be multifaceted – as mentors, guest speakers, recruiters and the list goes on.
A major impetus for alumni relations in Indian Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) came as recently as January 2021. University Grants Commission (UGC), Government of India (Government of India). In acceptance of the National Education Policy (NEP 2020), Government of India has suggested setting up of an Alumni Cell to HEI to make it Alumni Connect. In addition, some authoritative organizations consider alumni outreach as a ranking parameter for B-schools. The Government of India’s push to engage with alumni is an encouraging indicator for alumni relations to become a mainstream parameter in the rankings.
The alumni network of an educational institution is one of its greatest assets. The partnership of institutions with alumni network is a long-term exercise. An optimistic intention and affirmative action succeeds in building a strong community of alums who will help them reconnect with the alma-mater for tangible and intangible support. Giving back is immeasurable, especially when it is the time, knowledge and resources of alumni; And contributing to their parent organization is a generous gesture of gratitude and a valuable way to nurture the institution that raised them.
– Arvind Pandi Dorai
The author is Head of the Office of Advancement (Alumni Relations, PR & Development) for the KJ Somaiya Institute of Management.