Bridging the gap between students & industry

Bridging the gap between students & industry

The benches that we sat on (sometimes jumped on), the desks in which we scribbled our names on as a signature of our presence, the campus that we moved around, the teachers whom we respected and even cursed, the fellow students with whom we spent times that cannot be forgotten and much more linger in our memory for a long long time even after we leave our institutions. When in there, we wished to get out, but today, we yearn to get back in. That is the power of an alma mater.

Every year, an institution produces a batch of students who step out from it to go out into the world and occupy important posts and profiles all over the world. They are the ambassadors of the institution. What has given us so much cannot be summarised in words and hence, it would be appropriate for us to ‘give back’ something to the places that educated us. One of the finer ways of doing so would be through the creation and strengthening of an alumni association. Alumni associations have played a pivotal role in the growth of the institutions all over the world.

Alumni are the people who are the torchbearers for the next generations. They can guide students about what the industry and employers expect from fresh graduates. An educational system that can be enhanced with the inputs from the alumni will be like a warrior who is able to face any challenge. Alumni who are in contact with their alma mater can prove to be a resource for training students.

For them, their alma mater is a symbol of their prestige. They will be (in most cases) proud to be associated with their alma mater and happy to help the people who would like to follow in their footsteps. This can only happen in an atmosphere where there is regular communication and an ambience of cordial relationship between a college and its old students.

The digital world today gives greater opportunity to make large advances for institutions with global alumni support. Institutions can now restructure and reset their projects with greater plans. An advanced outlook of educational institutions towards their alumni can do a large turnaround for the students. Communication technology today helps in having regular interaction between academia and the industry through alumni. Project works of the students can be done more effectively today with industry-interactive interface.

Advantage
Alumni are also aware about the changes that are required in the approach of students towards their project works. In this regard, institutions that have involved its alumni in fostering its vision and mission certainly have an edge over those which haven’t. The old students of an institution, who not only hold positions of envy, but also have a plethora of contacts, can contribute significantly in raising funds for ambitious infrastructural projects envisaged by the institution.

Just to give an example, School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya, which is one of the oldest Social Work colleges in this part of the country (it is in Mangaluru), enjoys support of alumni associations not just in India cities, but also through chapters abroad, which have been interacting with the institution for the common good through an array of activities.
A new momentum in outlook and approach towards the alumni is possible today. The old students become stakeholders and pillars of support to take their institution to new heights. We can bring professionals into the campus to conduct regular programmes that connects the students and the alumni. After all, how effectively an institution harvests the large resources at its disposal does matter in the long run.

We can convert an alumni forum to become a breeding ground for establishments. We can turn them from student career guides towards providers of employment. Alumni can become partners with institutions in new enterprises, especially in the service sector establishments. There can definitely be a global forum for outsourcing in each educational institution. Jobs can be procured at every point, where alumni are present. It is our approach makes a lot of difference. Making micro (small) functions that are repetitive in nature is the first step in building a strong alumni front. Implementation of those micro functions at macro (higher) levels makes way for miracles.

Every long and successful journey has its humble beginnings. Many among the transformational moves in India had their humble beginnings in campuses. The new way of involving alumni in a win-win equation will make India’s future bright and memorable.

It’s also time for us to give back to the institution which has moulded us to be the person that we are today.

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