Conferences & Training
Young Alumni and Student Engagement


Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Day 1, Wednesday, Feb. 28

NOON-1:00 PM

Conference Welcome, Overview and Big Picture
Learn how to get the most out of your time at the conference.

Faculty TEN Talks
Hear from the faculty as each gives a ten minute TED-style talk to kick off the conference with thought-provoking, creative ideas.

Elective Sessions

  • Managing Effective Student Advancement Programs
    Whether you currently advise student advancement programs or are looking start an organization on your campus, this session will focus on the key elements to successful Student Alumni Associations, Student Foundations, and Student Ambassador Programs: philanthropic impact, alumni engagement, student engagement, cross-campus collaboration and student leader development. Attendees will walk away with ideas on how to engage alumni with their student programs, increase student philanthropy on their campus, and build effective student leadership teams within their organizations.
  • Career Programming for Students and Young Alumni
    Graduating students have unique needs that may not be reflected in your overall career programming. Helping them to obtain the skills necessary to succeed in their professional careers and then work through growing pains will ensure your institution will be viewed as a career resource. Hear about Northwestern’s programs which include our senior-focused Financial Literacy series and Connecting Confidently and also our “What’s Next” transitional career panel and “Opening Doors” series.
  • Leveraging Your Existing Events for Targeted Audiences
    You have a set of events currently on your calendar but are they meeting the needs and interests of your students and young alumni? In this interactive session, we will discuss tools and techniques to help leverage existing programs and how to create customized marketing strategies to increase participation. Come with personal success stories on what has worked for your institution to share with fellow attendees.

How to Evolve and Change Your Programs to Fit the Needs of Current Alumni
Our alumni are no longer the traditional audience that only returns to campus for Homecoming weekend. They are dynamic and expect more from their alma mater than ever before. When considering how you engage your alumni audience, it’s necessary to first consider who are your alumni and how do they want to connect with their alma mater. During this session, participants will learn about segmentation best practices and how to effectively assess their alumni audience in order to adapt to an ever-changing alumni audience.

Networking Reception
Join conference speakers and your colleagues to network and socialize after the first day of the conference. Drink tickets and hors d'oeuvres will be provided. Don't forget your business cards!

Conference Adjourns for the Day
Optional Small Group Dine-arounds

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Day 2, Thursday, Mar. 1

8:00-9:00 AM
Continental Breakfast

Faculty Panel: Building a Tradition of Engagement with Students and Young Alumni
Join the faculty as they discuss the importance of building a tradition of engagement with students and young alumni as well as some tips and strategies to support engagement on and off your campus.

Metrics and ROI for Young Alumni Programs
Understanding how to measure the impact of your program for both constituents and your institution is critical and metrics, evaluation and return on investment/engagement are all key components. In this session will explore (1) engagement definitions, data collection and reporting; (2) evaluation techniques – survey and focus groups; (3) explore the relationship between involvement and giving; and (4) using engagement metrics to inform future decisions. Practical tips on how do we know what programs to keep, start, and stop will also be discussed.

11:45 AM-1:00 PM
Lunch on your own

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Building Effective Cross-Campus Partnerships
    Student advancement programs and young alumni engagement don’t need to happen in a vacuum. Through strategic partnerships, and creating buy in from campus partners, your messages of engagement can further reach your student and young alumni population. Learn how you can strengthen your programming by collaborating creatively with student affairs, admissions, career services, dining services, and more.
  • Generational Mindsets: Understanding Motivations and Making it Work for You
    Our student and young alumni have different expectations and experiences than the alumni from other generations. During this presentation, you’ll learn about the changing demographics of today’s college students and young alumni. This interactive session will provide you with new ways to look at the trends and tips in engaging this dynamic audience.

Diversity and Inclusion in Young Alumni and Student Programming
As time has progressed, hopefully the student body at your institution has grown increasingly diverse. How do we meet the needs of our ever-changing student body and create a reality in which we are serving all of our students and alumni, not just those with dominant identities? We’ll share some strategies and thoughts on how we, as alumni relations professionals, can insure that we are assisting all alumni and growing the engaged base.

Small Group Discussions: Trends and What’s Next for Your Young Alumni and Student Programs

Day 2 Faculty Q&A

Conference Adjourns for the Day
Dinner on your own

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Day 3, Friday, Mar. 2

8:00-9:00 AM
Continental Breakfast

Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Developing a Mentoring Program
    With the goal of increasing meaningful engagement for both mentors and mentees, Northwestern University launched the Northwestern Network Mentorship Program in January 2016 to great success! Now nearly two year’s old, we’ll share successes, challenges, and next steps for how to build upon the platform and utilize the data that we’ve gathered.
  • Transitioning Your Graduating Students to Become Engaged Young Alumni
    We all know the importance of creating the “students to alumni pipeline”, but how do we smoothly facilitate that transition? This session will discuss best practices in both student advancement and young alumni programs, and the key components of the transition process: early student engagement, collaborative programming for both populations, and communicating clear expectations for young alumni volunteers.
  • Creating a Plan and Measuring Success for Engagement Efforts
    Our institutions are graduating more students each year. With the increasing number of young alumni in our alumni body, it is important that advancement professionals adjust to the needs of this ever-growing segment of our alumni population. By not meaningfully engaging students while on campus and not meaningfully engaging alumni until their mid- to late-30’s, we are not capitalizing on the mutually beneficial relationship with our students and young alumni as volunteers, members, advocates, and potential donors. This presentation will examine recent literature focusing on student and young alumni engagement and this generation’s characteristics. It will also review results of benchmarking for student and young alumni groups, focus group results of students and young alumni, and strategies and best practices for engagement. Session attendees will share experiences working with these populations and identify key takeaways to positively impact their work at their respective institutions.

Owning and Growing in Your Career
Our panel of alumni relations leaders will talk about what they did right (and wrong) as they advanced in their careers, and give advice on learning, skill-building, networking, managing up, career progression, and demonstrating the impact of your work.

11:30 AM-NOON
Closing Faculty Q&A

Conference Adjourns

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Day 1 Day 2 Day 3