Schools spend enormous resources finding, training, and managing student ambassadors to mold them into one the most powerful components of their recruiting strategy. So why, when ambassadors graduate, don't schools ever talk with them again?
Great question. Why don't you?
Hands down, the biggest idea in peer recruitment is Lifetime Ambassadors. If you currently have 50 ambassadors, why start from 0 each year? Think of your program as adding 50 ambassadors each year. After 5 years, you'll have 250, with 200 of them spread around the country as your virtual marketing team.
The day that students graduate and only hear from schools wanting donations will come to an end soon. While alumni might not want to donate money, it's amazing how many want to help in other ways. Including recruiting. And helping find people jobs. They just need to be asked.
So why hasn't it happened more often? Most people say time. You barely have time to manage your current group of ambassadors who are focusing on school tours and reaching out to prospective students.
But now, with PeerPoint, adding alumni to your online ambassador lineup is as easy as asking them.
For the past 4 years we've worked with Syracuse University on a system that links graduating students with alumni to help them find jobs. When they came to us to ask for help, we talked a lot about their alumni and if enough of them would want to volunteer to help graduates moving into the work force. Within just a couple of months of asking, they had thousands of alumni sign up. It was game-changing.
And they aren't unique. Our research shows that people feel emotionally connected to their alma mater and remember how hard it was to find a job at graduation or decide on a university as a high school student. They want to help.
Here's how you can make it work. Keep a record of your ambassadors as they move on from the program and work through completing their degrees. If you use PeerPoint, keep them in the system and email them occasionally to check in. Their graduation dates in the system will inform you when they are leaving, which is when you can reach out and ask for help.
When asking for help, explain that you'd like to profile them on your site as an alumni ambassador. Their duties will include answering emails from people with questions, and maybe even getting together with people in their current city to talk about the school. It's as easy as that.
Let us know if you'd like to learn more about what other schools are doing. With a little effort, you can build your ambassador team into the thousands.