As a young alumna, I knew I wanted to help out and give back to my alma mater which gave me so much during my four years there. I wasn’t sure how much of a financial commitment I could make to the university, but I knew I wanted to do a little bit in any way that I could.
If you want to get involved but don’t know where to start, these suggestions might help you to show off your school spirit:
Attend local alumni events
Your former college/university most likely has an alumni network in your area. If they don’t, you can always contact your alumni center and see if you can start a committee in your town/city. Being a member of a local alumni committee is a fun way to get involved by helping host socials and develop networking events. By just attending socials or meet-ups to watch your football team win the championship game, this can help make you feel even more connected to your alma mater. It also might expand your networking connections, which could potentially land you a job in your dream career.
College days at work
If your job does not currently have a specified “college day” day at work then you should ask your manager if they would be open to having one once a month. Employees could deck themselves out in their alumni gear and talk about their favorite part of their college over lunchtime. You might even find out that the person you share a cubicle with also went to your university and was in the same fraternity, but graduated a couple years ahead of you. Talk about co-working bonding.
Another idea is to connect with organizations or departments from your university that may want to tour your company and see the day and the life of an accountant. Students will learn a lot from your experience post graduation and you may walk away with your next intern. It’s a win-win situation!
Donate to scholarships/departments
This one may be difficult for recent grads since they are approaching the end of the six month grace period before having to start paying off their student loans, but is a good option for more established grads. Donating when you can and how much you can to your favorite scholarships or departments through the university is important. You have a hand in providing books, tuition, organization socials, events, etc. Think of where you would be if your Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter didn’t receive funding the three years you were a member and therefore they couldn’t pay for the agency tours that helped you land a job. It would be such a shame.
If donating is really not in your budget, but you still want to help out a specific scholarship, ask your alumni center if you can be on a scholarship review committee. Reviewing scholarships and helping decide which student is most qualified for funding is a very rewarding experience.
Volunteering is a fun, easy and inexpensive (usually free) way to help out your alma mater, but still show tons of school spirit. Throughout the year, your former university and the department you received your degree in will host countless socials, speaking engagements, alumni days, competitions, etc. They need people like you to help make all those events possible. Let your former professors, deans, advisors, and friends know that you would be interested in helping out in any way you can when they need you. You will be an alumni hero!