The question of how to bring students and alumni together and ensure that they are involved with the institution is a struggle for many institutions. Having the right technology is crucial to ensuring that you are able to enhance connections between students and alumni and foster long-term involvement with the business school.
Alums and students are the lifeblood of an institution and how an institution utilizes them can mean the difference between a good program and a truly great one. Without donations from former students, institutions would not be able to grow and develop more programs and reach new markets. It is also crucial to keep them engaged and connected with current students so that they can be resources for finding jobs and internships.
Knowing the importance of connections, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business was looking for an online community where their alums and students could connect for networking purposes. They also wanted to have access to robust tools on the administrative side as well. They had seen other systems that were designed for alumni to reach other alums but as far as engaging and connecting students with alums, the systems out there were inadequate.
They then reached out to Symplicity to provide a solution to their problems. Working together, Symplicity and UC Booth created an MBA system designed around a business school’s unique needs that has powerful and intuitive tools designed for networking, email marketing and information management.
Knowing that having a system in which alums and students would help update their data would make the system much more impressive, Symplicity included a user interface with a modern look and feel that allowed users to easily navigate the system and keep their information up to date. Since the system supports both students and alums, they also saw an increase in usage after graduation. This is due to the fact that those using the system as students were much more likely to continue using it after graduation, because they didn’t have to learn a brand-new system.
They also wanted the system to be able to handle their student and alumni groups, as well as their events. Partnering with Symplicity, they created an in-depth group management system with an intuitive and easy to use event module. They also wanted it to be able to integrate with a student’s calendar so that there would be a higher adoption rate for the system.
After implementation of the system, UC Booth has seen record numbers of alums and students logging into the system and using it for networking purposes. They have a minimum of 300 unique visitors per week and more than 12,000 active users on the system.
They are able to more easily keep their alumni information up to date thanks to the large amount of alums using the system and keeping their information current. They also were able to see a huge increase in the number of events created by students and able to easily track attendance by event like never before.
They have also been able to maintain a high level of employment upon graduation in spite of the adverse economic conditions. By connecting students with alums and employers the Booth School of Business can be sure that they are providing their constituents with the network they need to be successful in any economic climate. Alums and students the peace of mind in knowing that their information is not being shared with third parties.
By using the MBA Community system saves Chicago Booth both time and money. They now require fewer staff members dedicated to alumni outreach, and they benefit from the increased employment opportunities provided by a very active online community.