Beauty Link - Volume 3, Issue 4 - (Page 45)
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Alumni programs are powerful business-building tools
Angela Watson, Empire Education Group
Ties that bind
Your school is ﬁlled with students learning the fundamentals of cosmetology. You work tirelessly to provide them with the best education and experience. You know successful and happy students will lead to future enrollments. But what happens when those students become working stylists? Do you still work to keep them a part of your school? An alumni program can be a powerful business building tool and can open up windows of opportunity for you and your students. As the largest centrally owned and operated cosmetology school system in the U.S., Empire Education Group trains 20,000 students annually. Empire has developed an Alumni Association to keep in touch with its network of graduates, a move we feel is valuable for the company and the future professionals we teach.
graduation is a great way to let your alumni know you care about them and want to stay connected.
Communicate with them
Develop a communication plan. Regularly scheduled newsletters or email blasts are a great way to inform alumni about what is new and exciting. However, remember your audience. Don’t ﬁll your letters with news about in-school activities. Focus on items graduates would enjoy, like special guests, announcements about graduates’ job placements or promotions, and industry news. Keep up with them through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Give alumni their own forum to chat with each other.
Offer them stuff
Empire alumni are offered special discounts on all of our Masters of Beauty advanced education programs. We couple alumni ‘meet and greets’ with these events. In an industry where many are self-employed, your alumni association has a unique opportunity to offer graduates help with vital services they may otherwise go without. Look for ways to offer alumni the same beneﬁts employees of larger companies have access to, such as health insurance and vendor discounts.
A type of advertising money can’t buy is good word of mouth. If a student has an outstanding experience at your school, chances are they’re sharing it with their friends and family. Bragging skills shouldn’t stop there! Once they start their careers utilizing the skills you taught them, these professionals can help promote your school within your community and to the broader beauty industry. Knowing where your graduates are and what they are doing provides you with instant ‘proof of performance.’ An alumni program is a great way to stay connected to your graduates and remind them of how beauty school prepared them for their career.
Put them to work!
Most professionals are happy to share their wisdom with those entering the business. Allow your alumni the chance to share what experience has taught them through initiatives like mentor programs and advisory boards. At Empire, each school is tasked with developing an advisory board of beauty industry professionals in their area. These professionals offer real world advice to our staff and students, ensuring that what they are learning remains relevant in this quickly changing industry. Not only will this offer encouragement to your students, but it will keep your school ﬁlled with beauty professionals who are also proud graduates. More to come on advisory boards in the next issue of BeautyLink, so be on the lookout. Angela Watson is director of Public and Media Relations for Empire Education Group. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-223-3271..
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Young professionals are quite mobile and changing addresses, phone numbers and emails can make keeping in touch difﬁcult. Find out what information you already have, and go from there. Does your school do exit interviews? If so, that’s a great place to grab all the contact information you can. At Empire, each graduate is asked to complete an alumni information sheet, and this contact data is entered into our electronic student database. Since student contact information will likely change within the ﬁrst year, reaching out a few weeks after
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Beauty Link - Volume 3, Issue 4
Five Simple Secrets for Building a Habit that Lasts Julie Gray
Trends 2011: The looks and treatments that drove us mad— and the multifaceted methods behind them Amy Drew Thompson
2011 AACS Annual Convention Photo Spread & Recap
Economic Education: Introducing the true cost of debt to students PART ONE OF A TWO-PART SERIES Kenneth J. Zarda
Reflecting on Performance: Evaluations, goal-setting and reaching beyond Angie Shuler
Delivering a World-Class Experience: Strengthening your school’s service aptitude John DiJulius
True Potential: Understanding the value of self-reflection Desiree Jumchai
Wild Dinner Stories: Thoughts and lessons of the unexpected Jeff Pulford
Keeping Connections: Alumni programs are powerful business-building tools Angela Watson
Is One Duck Out of Line? The educator’s role in financial aid Ray Testa
Calculating Your Composite Score: Why does it matter? Philip Courtney Hogan
Beauty Link - Volume 3, Issue 4