MBA Graduates vs. Traditional Alumni: Why Engagement Strategies Need to Differ

Your graduates are a diverse group of people. From artists to science majors, from teachers to business graduates, they’re moving into different fields and respond to different student engagement strategies. If you’re targeting your alumni for a campaign, consider your marketing niches. How can your institution appeal to MBA graduates through your outreach?

The Profile of an MBA Graduate

What university do you remember the most? If you have an advanced degree, you probably remember your first university experience with fondness. You may have lived in residence or lived independently for the first time, and you were involved in campus life, from clubs to athletics. As students move into advanced degree programs, they tend to be older and more targeted in their involvement. They’re less connected to the university as a whole, and they’re more focused on their specific faculty. They may attend part time as they pursue work and family interests. Your MBA graduates may be less emotionally connected to your university and can see it as a stepping stone into the next phase of their career. This can pose challenges when it comes to alumni engagement.

Speaking to the MBA Graduate

If your MBA graduates are focused on their programs, their classmates, and their professors, how do you speak to them as students? They’re not as connected to the school as a whole, but you can use the connections that they do have to focus your fundraising efforts. Professionals who’ve chosen to get an MBA at your school value their colleagues and want to connect with alumni in their field and in their specific geographic area.
They’re keen to support the networks within their program, the students who participate in that specific program, and the research completed within that program.

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If you want to involve these alumni, focus on developing these networks. Give them the opportunity to share about their post-MBA experiences with colleagues. Feature their blog posts, videos, and articles as part of your promotions. Use LinkedIn groups to stay connected: share problems, share successes, and act as a resource base for your alumni.

Understanding the Needs of MBA Graduates

Social media is rich source of information about the needs and interests of your MBA graduates. Search LinkedIn for conversations that are occurring or groups that your graduates have developed. Use Twitter to develop connections with graduates so that you understand their opinions. Professionals value individual engagement. Track those who interact with you on social media and add information about their specific interests and geographic area so that you can develop a profile of individuals and of your alumni as a whole.

As you develop your student engagement strategies, connect with eCity Interactive. We’re here to help you reach your audience and develop engagement strategies that are strong, targeted, and effective. For more information about engaging with your alumni, Download our white paper: Increased Giving Through Better Donor Relationships.

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