APU Careers Careers & Learning

5 Ways to Give Back to Your Alma Mater

dv740103By Tiffany Young
Online Career Tips Contributor

If you think about the reasons you went to college in the first place, you might be nostalgic and recall the best times of your life. For some, going to college was to get an education or get a chance at a better job. For whatever reason you decided to go, most could agree that you may have gained more than just an education. What about long-lasting friendships, new skills, and an opportunity to enter into a rewarding career. So why not give back since you gained so much? The term alma mater is reason enough, but if you need further motivation to give back to your school or college, read on:

Speaking at a class

Don’t wait for the college to call your office and ask if you are free to speak to a class. Go ahead and give one of your former professors a call. Think about your favorite class and ask them if they could use a guest speaker in the upcoming semester. Chances are, they’ve been waiting for someone like you to reach out for years to give some perspective on a topic.

Promote the college on social media

They have a Facebook page. You have a Facebook page. They’re on Twitter and you love Twitter! You’re connected to several alumni, so why are you not promoting your college on social media? It’s a fun and free way for you to show how relevant your school is, and you can share news and great developments from your school as well. Remember to be respectful and careful when engaging in conversation with someone under the age of 21. Next thing you know, you’re the school’s biggest cheerleader and you didn’t even try out.

Attend homecoming activities

Go team go! The winner is? You! That’s right. Homecoming is a time to celebrate the school you’re attending. And, after you’ve graduated, it’s a time to go back or “come home” to your town and the campus, see old friends, and reminisce about your school days. Homecoming has always been built around a central event. If you attend the event, you’re supporting the school and your fellow classmates.

Give money: Big or small

Colleges are always thankful when alumni can support the college in monetary ways. Big or small, giving money can make an impact. It’s a donation at the end of the day, so writing it off on your taxes is a good decision. Or, pick one project the college is working on and find out how to directly give to that cause. If you ask enough questions, they can probably even tell you exactly what they’re using your gift for on campus.

Organize an alumni event

The great part about this idea is it helps you get reconnected with old friends and it helps your alma mater. Getting more alumni involved means increased awareness and opportunities for future generations to attend your alma mater.

About the Author

Tiffany Young is the manager of public relations for American Public University System. She has more than eight years of experience in media relations, event management, and public relations. She earned a certificate in Public Relations from the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies and received a B.A. in Mass Communications from Virginia State University. She is currently a board member of the National Black Public Relations Society, Inc. You can find her on Twitter @tyoungpr.

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