industry spotlights, event engagement

ROAD TRIP! Bring your campus to your alumni

It's always good to have alumni back on campus, especially when students are active. No matter how long you've been away from your alma mater, there is an infectious atmosphere of energy that can only be found on college campuses.

The alumni you have coming back to campus though is pretty limited due to a number of reasons, and many of your highest affinity alumni never make it back. So what if you could bring your campus to your alumni? That's exactly what Emma Hamm and Ryan Smolko are doing at Muhlenberg College.

Like so many universities, Muhlenberg is located in a small town a few hours away from any major city. It's hard for alumni to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City, so why not get a bus full of Mules and bring students to the big city?

For the past couple of years, Muhlenberg has put together a program where they bus current students to cities like New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia. The day includes stops at alumni host sites at companies like NBC Universal, Deloitte, the Department of Homeland Security, and more. To cap off the day, all Muhlenberg alumni are invited to a large networking event with the students.

As Ryan Smolko said, "The students who are most prepared, create career opportunities (on these trips)." Not only are students getting to interact with alumni at real-life workplaces, but they are also getting to experience different cities. That alone is valuable for future alumni who now can compare and contrast the opportunity to move to different cities after graduation.

There is no doubt that alumni want to interact with students, it's usually at the top of any volunteer opportunity survey you would send out. This is a great way to bring student and alumni together and to capture that infectious energy from campus.

Beyond those warm and fuzzies, these bus trips help create opportunities for the Muhlenberg team. The Advancement office helps to identify potential alumni hosts to help facilitate the bus trip. There is no doubt that today's alumni want to know where their time and money is going, and with this type of programming, those things are immediately evident.

It also gives Ryan and Emma an immediate story to tell to other students and their alumni. One such success story was of a student who went on the Washington DC trip and attended a session at Atlantic Media. He decided to spend the semester in DC as a part of the Lutheran College Washington Semester and is currently interning at Spoke.co as a Copywriter.

Those are the type of opportunities and deeper relationships between alumni and students that are meaningful for everyone.

More on the Muhlenberg Career Road Trips:

To Tell Stories for Others, First Learn to Share Your Own

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