Revenue Generating Programs: Georgia Tech Alumni Association - Silver Medal

Category 1C Alumni Relations Programs – Revenue Generating Programs
Georgia Tech Alumni Association: Alumni Career Fair & Conference

Contact: Len Contardo, vice president of constituent services, Alumni Career Services, 190 North Ave., Atlanta, GA 30313, Phone: (404) 894-9275, e-mail:

Overview: Since 1923, the Georgia Tech Alumni Association has offered career services and programs to job seeking alumni and hiring companies. As the oldest program of its kind in the country, Georgia Tech Alumni Career Services has a strong tradition and commitment of connecting alumni seeking new careers with employers. For over 50 years, the GTAA has provided job listings for alumni to learn about open jobs. Three staff members provide career advisement and job search planning assistance through in-person, phone and e-mail methods. Frequent networking and educational events and workshops are offered to this alumni segment. The annual Alumni Career Fair and Conference -- henceforth referred to as the “Fair” – is a unique effort to provide a forum for job seekers, hiring companies and alumni interested in exploring new employment opportunities.

Purpose: In 1982, the Fair was created to serve alumni living in Atlanta with local employers. Over the years, the Fair has evolved into a large-scale event attracting employers from all over the country and alumni from more than 30 states. Although focused on alumni in active job search mode, the Fair has something to offer to all alumni with educational workshops and networking activities. The 23rd annual Fair was comprised of two Career Fair sessions, on-site interviews, breakfast speaker, lunch speaker, and networking throughout the event. The goals set prior to the fair were to engage over 900 alumni, 100 employers, and generate $100,000 of revenue.

Alumni Association Funding: Georgia Tech Alumni Career Services is part of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. There are continual funding challenges and great pressure for internally-generated revenue. In 2006, the Career Fair provided $151,000 to support alumni association programs and services for Georgia Tech alumni throughout the world. The GTAA is not a membership organization so all former students who have completed at least one quarter/semester and are in good standing are considered alumni of Georgia Tech. Funding for the alumni association comes from the Georgia Tech Foundation, affinity relationships (credit card royalties, insurance, etc.), advertising, sponsorships, and alumni career services employers.

Mission of Georgia Institute of Technology: “To provide the state of Georgia with the scientific and technological knowledge base, innovation, and workforce it needs to shape a prosperous and sustainable future and quality of life for its citizens.” One of the strategic advantages of Georgia Tech is the “recognition as one of the nation’s top suppliers of technological talent and engineers, including women and minority engineers.” That reputation is leveraged to attract hiring companies to Georgia Tech Alumni Career Services and the Fair.

Mission of Georgia Tech Alumni Association: “The mission of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association is to promote and serve our alumni and the institute. We will continually create relevant and meaningful programs for current and future alumni to foster lifelong participation and philanthropic support. We will communicate the achievements of the institute and our alumni, maintain its traditions, and engage the campus community. Underlying all that we do is a belief in the value of education, the commitments to integrity and exceptional customer service, and a pledge that we will perform in a fiscally responsible manner.”

Integration with Advancement Goals: In an effort to provide “relevant and meaningful programs for current and future alumni,” we offer a comprehensive selection of career services and networking programs for our alumni. We firmly believe that our engagement in supporting the careers of our alumni leads to increased involvement and philanthropy in the future. As the public university with the highest percentage of alumni giving to the annual fund, we are confident alumni career services has contributed to that success.
Each keynote speaker at the Fair is major gift prospect with significant association involvement. Speakers are encouraged to share the uniqueness of the Georgia Tech educational experience and ways to best leverage it throughout your career.


  • Alumni brochure – mailed to all alumni who graduated between 1982 and 2004 (34,000)
  • Employer brochure – mailed to all past attendees and entire department employer database (5,000)
  • Campus outreach – information to student career services for advisees, career library, and announcements at workshops; colleges and schools – promoted through teaching assistants to all graduating students
  • Alumni clubs – 100 domestic clubs and international contacts promoted the Fair
  • Affinity groups – eight active interest groups shared career services announcements at meetings and events including the Black Alumni Organization, Young Alumni Council, Hispanic Alumni, and other groups
  • BuzzWords – monthly electronic newsletter to all alumni with an e-mail address (54,000)
  • Tech Topics – article and advertisement in two issues of tabloid-type publication sent to all alumni and friends (125,000)

Volunteers: Georgia Tech Alumni Association staff members serve as critical volunteers to manage the event. Touted as one of their favorite programs, all 55 employees enjoy the interaction with alumni and employers enhancing their commitment to the association’s overall mission.

Collaboration: Many peer institutions have inquired about the Fair and visited our campus to learn more about it. We have a sincere commitment to the field of alumni relations to continue to share best practices, along with learning from our colleagues’ innovative programs.

Metrics for Evaluation of Success of 2006 Career Fair and Conference

Alumni: Total Living – 114,191, Total Addressable – 103,336

Alumni - Participation
Pre-registered – 932
Submitted Resumes – 665
Walk-up Registration – 75

Alumni - Years of Professional Experience:
0-5 years – 31 percent
6-10 years – 23 percent
11-15 years – 16 percent
16-20 years – 10 percent
20+ years –20 percent

Alumni – Degrees: 32 percent of candidates possess at least a Master's degree

Alumni – Gender: Male – 74 percent, Female – 24 percent
Total alumni population – Male – 83 percent, Female – 18 percent

Alumni – Location (Top five states represented):
Georgia – 81 percent
Florida – 2 percent
Tennessee – 2 percent
South Carolina – 2 percent
Alabama – 2 percent
Other – 11 percent

31 total states represented

Total alumni population (Top five states represented):
Georgia – 44 percent
Florida – 8 percent
California – 5 percent
Texas – 5 percent
North Carolina – 4 percent

Satisfaction of attendees:
Met or Exceeded Expectations (Alumni) – 72 percent
Met of Exceeded Expectations (Employer) – 72 percent

Participation - 107 (Goal was 100)

State Distribution:
Georgia – 63
Florida – 11
South Carolina – 4
Wisconsin – 3
Texas – 3
Total States represented – 22

Engineering – 57
Information Technology – 26
Business - 24

Fortune 500 – 39
Mid-sized – 51
Small - 17

Revenue from Employers: $151,000 (Goal was $100,000)

Program budget – 2006 Alumni Career Fair and Conference

Mailing Services $203.84
Postage $7351
Freelance Graphics $0
Printing $14,068.93
Promotional Items $2483.39
Gifts $372.87
Entertainment $0
Travel $924.71
Planning Food & Beverage $0
Function Food & Beverage $20,199.69
Equipment Rental $22,387.91
Breakfast/Lunch Registrations $4727
Employer Registrations $151,000
Totals $68,992.34 $155,727
Net Income $86,734.66

Over the years, minor changes have led to major positive results. They include:

  • Resume CD – moved distribution date one week to account for all walk-up attendees, thus enhancing value of resource. Resume CD is used as a recruiting tool throughout the year.
  • Job seekers have found the Fair to be a good source of open jobs. A concerted effort was made to cater to passive or curious job seekers by encouraging them to attend to hear the two keynote speakers (breakfast and lunch) and network with employers and other alumni.
  • Each employer is greeted by an alumni association staff person, escorted to Employer Check-in, guided to assigned Career Fair space and assisted with booth setup. Alumni association representatives are available to handle issues that arise prior, during and post Career Fair. It is truly a high-touch exercise in providing exceptional customer service for our employer attendees.
  • Corporate sponsors pay a premium for ideal location within career fair, announcements on all materials (Employer Data Book, Map of Career Fair, promotional e-mails, advertisements). Sponsorship opportunities increase revenue and visibility for select employers.
  • An alumnus/a may attend the morning session or afternoon session (or both) and receive all of the benefits without missing too much work.
  • Employers have the flexibility to conduct on-site interviews in a private interview space after the Fair sessions are completed.
  • Registration is free for alumni with nominal charges for breakfast and lunch speakers to offset food costs.
  • The Fair is only available to Georgia Tech alumni and graduating students. In order to maintain the integrity of the event, we require all attendees to provide proper identification (resume, mini-diploma, GT ID, etc.). The alumni database is available to ensure each alumnus/a is in good standing with the institute. Alumni appreciate the exclusivity of the event as a special benefit of being a Georgia Tech alumnus/a.
  • Branding Career Fair to employers and Career Conference to alumni reinforced the appeal to each audience.