Research facilities, infrastructure, study programmes, scholarships are some of the several essential factors that international students consider while choosing to study abroad especially in the UK. However, there is one crucial factor that most students tend to overlook and that is the alumni network of their university. Alumni networks are hard to come by and having one full of people with shared experiences is extremely crucial for an individual’s long-term personal and professional growth. In this blog post we will discuss the top 7 reasons why you should prioritise your UK alumni network and what you can gain from networking with them.
- Gain Perspective – Your UK alumni will help you gain perspective on the university and the programme that you are looking to study. Since they have first-hand experience of student life at that university, they will be able to guide you through course modules, study workload, examinations, events and countless other aspects.
- Get Career Insights – Your UK alumni will have a wealth of knowledge and skills to help you gain insight on job prospects and current market trends. Networking with your alumni is a great way to see if the career path you have chosen after graduation is suitable based on your expertise and skill set. In certain cases, some might even go out of their way to assist or recommend you in full-time or part-time work placements and ultimately launch your career in a new country.
- Receive Accommodation Guidance – Finding the right accommodation can be overwhelming especially for an international student coming to the UK to study. Since your accommodation is going to be your home for the next few months or years, it is important that you reach out to your UK alumni network for guidance. They are the most reliable source to guide you on various accommodation options based on your budget and preference. Moreover, while scouting for places to eat and socialise, your alumni network will be your best guide.
- Gain Mentorship – Your university’s alumni network is a great way to find a mentor, who can guide you in your educational and professional journey. It is a rewarding experience as you get to learn about yourself and your career trajectory. Apart from your university, you can also find your mentor at ScotsGrad, India’s leading education and career advisory firm offering mentorship from subject matter experts based on your skills and capabilities. You can reach out to them for all your associated needs including university application, accommodation, and so on.
- Receive Project Recommendations – Your UK alumni network will be able to share insights on your research project and the professor to collaborate with based on their specific experiences. You can accomplish a lot more if you work with the right professor. Hence, do not hesitate to reach out to your alumni for their valuable insights.
- Learn from alumni mistakes – Making mistakes is part of the learning process. But the decision to pursue education and career in an international country can be an expensive one if not done right. Hence, reach out to your alumni network to learn about their experiences and mistakes so that you do not repeat the same. Do not hesitate to discuss your fears, apprehensions and mistakes with your alumni so as to understand the best possible way to overcome them.
- Attend/Host Alumni Guest Lectures – Reach out to your dean or departmental head and propose a plan of hosting alumni guest lectures on a monthly or by-monthly basis (both online and offline). Inviting an alumni as a guest speaker is an important engagement exercise for students since it exposes them to real workplace experiences. Moreover, students also get to experience insights and perspectives of experts from their chosen field.
The benefits of networking with your UK alumni can be summed up into two words: knowledge sharing. Through this support group, you will be able to know prospective universities past what is written about them in publications and what they write on their websites, thereby greatly assisting you in deciding where and what to study and which career path to choose.
ScotsGrad is a pioneer in establishing the UK, especially Scotland, as a premier destination for higher education among students in India. We provide end to end advisory services including psychometric assessment, personalised interactions, university and visa application assistance, and career guidance. The personalised interactions with our members, former graduates of leading UK universities, ensure a holistic and systematic approach. We are also the only consultancy in India enabling “career success” for any student going to the UK.
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All the Best!