We have had an Alumni programme on our drawing board for a long time and we are so happy that we were finally able to launch it last Thursday 18th January. It was great to see so many of our Alumni at the launch event and we loved catching up with them to hear how they are getting on – it was a reminder of how time flies!
Why set up an alumni programme?
Over the last 5 years we have realised that we have a growing pool of talented young people who have benefitted from taking part in our projects and we want to continue to offer them support through an Alumni programme. We don’t want to lose the magic that they have brought to our projects and programmes and the We Rise family!
This support will be tailored towards those who have moved beyond our projects and programmes and it will included:
- Sharing and creating relevant opportunities with them, the benefits of this continued support can not be underestimated, hey don’t we all need a bit of help?
- Creating an alumni network and offering networking opportunities that allow them to both benefit from each other’s input but also that of a wider group of professionals such as through the newly set up Born or Made networking group created by Elle Moss.
- The chance for our Alumni to get involved and support those younger than themselves using their advice and experience. We want our Alumni to be the next generation of professionals at our speed mentoring sessions!
And of course the continued benefits of being part of the We Rise family, we are always here for our Alumni to contact for help whenever they need it and our plan is for We Rise to be guided by our Alumni – as who is better to tell us what young people need!
What do our Alumni want from the programme?
In order to make sure our programme meets the needs of our Alumni, at Thursday’s event we asked them what they would want it to offer them.
There was a strong call for networking opportunities and our Alumni told us that they want opportunities to meet those of you on the We Rise professional contacts list and build connections with people from the same industries that they are interested in.
There was also a request for chances to meet other young people and a reconnection programme to reconnect with the alumni they worked with on their particular We Rise project. They want to feel part of a community and have an end of year Alumni party.
They want a range of different experiences that ‘you don’t usually get’, as well as ones that help them gain new skills, have more fun and include hands-on activities.
In terms of practical support, our Alumni want support for applications they are making, tips for career advancement, shared information signposting them to career / job / internship opportunities, and work experience for specific areas such as media and the tech field.
Importantly there was also a request for more opportunities for 6th form leavers who are not going to Uni.
It was an incredibly positive evening where lots of our alumni were able to practice their networking skills with all of the We Rise supporters who were there. We are excited to now have an Alumni programme and can’t wait to start delivering what our Alumni need.
If you would like to get involved in any way or sponsor our Alumni programme then please contact our COO, Polly Waterworth: firstname.lastname@example.org