JA China Alumni in the Making by #GatherReporter Howard
JA China Alumni in The Making
JA China Alumni is a huge network. Over its 27 years of operation, JA China has impacted 6 million students. Its alumni network was launched in March 2018 on JA China’s 25th Anniversary. JA China started its alumni network to keep alumni engaged, provide a platform for networking and personal development as well as amplify JA's impact at China.
Meet the team behind the JA China Alumni movement!
JA China Alumni implemented several best practices when they started building their alumni network in order to maintain relevance and engagement.
1. Recruit Alumni Volunteers
Involve alumni in JA programs to increase their influence in the community, which in turn makes the engagement meaningful and effective. Furthermore, students in JA programs will feel the need to give back by volunteering in the future just like how their seniors did, and the chain effect continues.
2. Organize alumni activities together with large-scale JA events
JA alumni activities can be done simultaneously with Company of the Year competitions and other large-scale exhibitions. Alumni will feel more compelled to attend an alumni activity while learning about products developed by students (killing two birds with one stone)
3. Tailor activities to specific needs
Alumni chapters have to understand the needs of their alumni and carry out activities based on those needs while staying relevant to JA's mission. For example, JA China Alumni found out that their alumni are more excited to participate in activities where they could meet friends, obtain resources, and work on personal development. Learn more about your alumni chapter members and cater to their needs!
Two years after launching the alumni initiative in China, the alumni team has successfully hosted several activities with great engagement from members.
July 15, 2018 – JA Alumni Branding Party: Organized by the JA Alumni Xi 'an core team, members learned about the ins and outs of the alumni chapter. Alumni made new friends and strengthened existing friendships.
June 9, 2019 – Alumni Homecoming Day: Held at the “100 Years 100 Lives” exhibition opening ceremony (JA 100th Anniversary Public Education Week), for all JA Alumni to participate. At the event, one ten-year volunteer and two former JA students shared their experiences in JA and discussed the influence and inspiration JA has had on their lives. The alumni then exchanged gifts and shared their own JA experiences.
July 21, 2019 – The first JA China Alumni Summit in Chengdu: More than 100 alumni from nine cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, shared their contributions to the society and their journeys of personal growth through keynote speeches, alumni roundtables, corner speeches, and a dinner.
All in all, JA China has shown that it’s possible to manage a big network with correct implementation of strategies. The organization has to build an impressive alumni network and community. The global alumni team hopes that you find these tips helpful and will assimilate best practices into your alumni network. Share your ideas for fun activities for alumni in the comment section below!