Battling Young Alumni Unemployment

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“It’s tough out there”.

As the class of 2007 gets underway with 5th reunion gift campaigns across the country, we’ve been reflecting on the impact the macroeconomic roulette wheel can have on different graduating classes.

Reunion gift campaigns are never easy, but things are particularly challenging amidst 200,000 job losses in the financial sector this year alone.

Contrast this economic backdrop with graduation day five years ago and Fortune Magazine’s proclamations that “right now is about as good as it gets”.

How quickly things change.

And while the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that employment rates are slowly improving, many recent graduates, particularly those younger than 25, continue to struggle as they kick off their young careers.

This is demonstrated most starkly by the Federal Reserve’s recent announcement that 8.8% percent of students scheduled to begin repaying their loans in 2009 defaulted in 2010, versus the 4.6% percent student loan default rate in 2005.

With all of these challenges, what can your school to do to support young alumni?

70% of all jobs are found through networking. For generations, many alumni have turned to our strongest networking community: our Alma Mater.

The strength of this connection helped one of our most recent employees, Harvey Simmons, land his first startup gig at Accel-backed professional networking startup BranchOut. While he corresponded with the company’s Marketing Manager, a Boston College alumnus, their ability to share the common bond of their undergraduate experience opened the door. That alumni bond made a difference in his job search process and endured throughout his time with the organization, contributing to a great internship experience.

Here at EverTrue, nearly 80% of our team joined our company as a direct result of networking.

But alumni networking isn’t always easy. Being able to effectively approach and speak with the right people at the right time requires a certain level of skill, finesse and technology. Alumni offices can help through collaboration with your peers in Career Services.

Since his graduation, Harvey has shared that many of his peers in Boston are able to connect with fellow Eagles through their strong alumni relations office at BC.

But what about alumni who don’t move to major markets after graduation? It’s easy to quickly feel disconnected from your institution, resources and network.

Even three years ago this disadvantage would have been very hard to overcome.  There was no user-friendly way to discover alumni in my area who work at companies and industries that are of interest to me.

We’ve heard from many alumni relations professionals that it’s common to receive a call from a young alum asking for a list of “investment bankers in New York” or “lawyers in Chicago”?  We’ve also heard that it can be time consuming to query your databases to deliver the required reports back to your job-seeking graduates.

EverTrue has been working hard to pioneer location-based alumni networking.  Mobile technology offers the ability to convert a shelf of outdated print alumni directories into an incredibly powerful, intuitive alumni networking mobile app available for iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch) and Android devices, with our HTML5 mobile web app coming soon.

By working closely with the education and engineering teams at LinkedIn to deeply integrate our platform with their professional graph, EverTrue has built an unmatched alumni networking tool with accurate industry and company data that massively exceeds the quality of information stored in your legacy Harris Connect system.

We founded EverTrue because our alumni networks have made a profound impact on our lives.  We come to work every day with a commitment to support the professional growth of your graduates by blending the strong tradition of alumni networking with cutting edge mobile and social technology.

If you’d like to learn how you can help combat young alumni unemployment through our location-based alumni networking and our integration with LinkedIn, please reach out to us at info@evertrue.com.

Ever True!

Brent

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