Five Ways to Make the Most of Your Alumni Network with the Relationship Science Alumni Index

Here at RelSci, we’re in the business of thinking about which relationships matter. When we talk to our clients about the connections they find valuable, they may bring up personal friendships, fellow club members, or business partners. But time and time again, we hear about connections to former coworkers and fellow university alumni. That’s why we recently launched the Relationship Science Alumni Index, a free tool you can use to explore who is in your alumni network, where they are now, and who they know.

The Relationship Science Alumni index considers two different types of alumni networks. First, the most traditional sense of the phrase – the group of people who graduated from a particular university or professional school. Think “Harvard Alumni” or “Duke MBA Alumni.” Second, the cohort who used to work at a particular organization, as in “Google Alumni” or “McKinsey Alumni.” Below, we’ll discuss 5 ways both of these alumni network types can help you achieve professional success.

1. Identify potential clients who already understand your firm and its strengths

It’s often challenging to get someone who has a limited understanding of your product or service to take your call. You won’t encounter this problem when selling to your company’s alumni. Former employees, especially those in decision-making roles, can be your champions within a prospective client, serving as (The Economist notes), “brand ambassadors, recruiters, and salespeople.”

Leverage the Relationship Science Alumni Index to identify former employees who now serve in executive positions at your target companies, as in this example of recent executive moves by McKinsey Alumni.  For more advanced filters, such as industry or company keyword, consider a subscription to RelSci Pro.

2. Find start-up capital for a new business

Anyone who has looked into starting a business knows that getting an initial meeting with potential investors is tough. One place to start – investors often place their faith in fellow alumni, especially those from the same business school. Research shows that this faith pays off. According to a recent study in Harvard Business Review, fund managers performed significantly better when investing in companies they were connected to through university ties.

Using the Relationship Science Alumni Index, you can find which alumni from your school work in venture capital, hedge funds, and other investing professions. Check out this example for Sloan School of Management Alumni in PE/VC.

3. Secure major gifts for a university by connecting with alumni with demonstrated giving potential

Alumni are the chief source of major gifts for most colleges and universities. By identifying alumni who have demonstrated considerable giving potential, universities can focus their fundraising efforts on the individuals with the potential to create the most impact.

The individual profiles within any given alumni index feature giving history data; review giving history for Yale alumnus Steve Schwarzman, a major supporter of his alma mater, here. Leverage Power Search within one of RelSci’s premium products to search across donors and find those with the greatest giving propensity.

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4. Explore a new career by networking with alumni in a particular industry or role

Whether you’re just starting out or switching careers, networking with successful professionals in your chosen industry can be invaluable. They can introduce you to the right hiring managers, direct you to relevant resources, and provide informational interviews. Although a few senior professionals are willing to help out anyone seeking advice, many are much more willing to lend a hand to fellow alumni.

To get started, head to the Relationship Science Alumni Index, select your school, and choose an industry or role.  RelSci’s premium products help you hone the list further with additional criterial, find alumni in your area, and identify those within your personal network.

5. Recruit the best person for the job by identifying individuals with particular expertise

Recruiting executive leadership is a struggle for many companies, especially young ones. How can you find the person whose profile is the right match for your organization’s needs? One useful strategy – diving into alumni networks to identify individuals with the right background.

Need a general counsel for your growing technology company? Check out alumni of Morrison & Foerster LLP, ranked Law Firm of the Year in Information Technology Law by US News. Looking for a CMO who knows his or her way around search engine optimization? Review the index of CMOs who once worked at Google.

Whether you’re in prospecting or business development, alumni from either your university or organization are some of your strongest potential candidates. Use the Relationship Science Alumni Index to easily generate lists of qualified alumni prospects, and then use RelSci to get even stronger results with unlimited profile views on 7.5 million individuals and 2 million organizations. Start your free trial and reach out to qualified alumni today.