The alumni have always been an important aspect of any university, not just for the potential networking, career and advocacy opportunities, but also for the lifelong connection it brings to former students and the chance for them to give back.
The FIU Alumni Association has provided numerous services in support of the alumni to network with current students and engage with the community, especially with its evolution in allowing all graduates to belong to the association without membership fees, which aids in fostering a positive and engaging environment for all to participate and thrive in.
To date, the association claims to serve an entire alumni base “of over 215,000 represented in every state and in more than 139 countries around the world,” which makes up one of the most diverse and fastest growing communities in the world, according to the FIU Alumni Association website.
This is a considerable feat and further proves that FIU is the diverse institution it claims to be, even in post-graduation standards.
Like many other institutions, it’s tricky business when it comes to encouraging graduate students and current students to intermingle as well as for alumni to remain a part of their alma mater’s community.
For example, former students may not see any reason to continue their participation in campus activities and choose to take leave once graduation arrives.
This, in turn, can severely affect current students who wish to network with alums and halt their search for a mentor that can help them. It can also, of course, affect the institution that relies on donations and support from these graduates.
On the other hand, it can be difficult to push current students to meet with alumni, even if it helps build their network and makes their time at FIU all the more worthwhile. Reasons for this are endless: school, work, lack of opportunities to attend events…the list goes on.
At FIU, much effort has placed into encouraging students to stay. Events involving alumni do occur regularly, and with Panther Alumni Week taking place this week, more opportunities for engagement between these groups of students are possible.
Despite this, however, the drive to bring students to remain a part of FIU or current students to network with alumni is not always present as other events that involve students and alumni interaction aren’t as prominent as Panther Alumni Week.
Our university, apart from the events involving alumni, must place more effort into cultivating this drive among students in order to see a further increase in alumni participation and interaction with students.
It is essential for students, whether former or current, to remain connected to each other, in order to provide opportunities that benefit both parties and of course, FIU.
With fostering this type of environment, it can aid in advancing FIU’s efforts to transform not just the future of the local community or South Florida, but also the rest of the world.