International Educator - March/April 2018 - 43

"It is truly a win-win-win situation because alumni feel recognized and engaged through a strong international alumni recruitment program, students appreciate the contact with alumni,
and the university develops a stronger connection with alumni
through recruitment channels," she says.
Thammavongsa engages alumni through a series of "cold messages"-emails from USF's database and LinkedIn groups-and
uses targeted Facebook advertising as a "rallying point" for events
in specific regions.
"Engaging alumni who have never been engaged before is like
looking for your lost pet," she says. "You send mail, you post flyers,
you hope with fingers crossed that someone responds positively
to something and then you begin the process of welcoming them
home and showing them how much has changed."
Aruna Dasgupta, who works as the University of South
Florida's country adviser in India, arranges "tea sessions" for
alumni to meet with prospective students in several of the country's major cities a few times a year. The sessions are designed to
give students a chance to meet with someone who has been in
a similar situation "at that critical stage when we know they are
making up their minds about which offer to take up."
"The biggest advantage is the comfort level and the trust a student feels when talking to alumni, especially if the alumni are from
their country and their city, and often speaking in their regional
language," Dasgupta says, noting that India has 22 officially

recognized languages. "We know this interaction plays a key part
in the decisions students make."
Dasgupta says alumni are asked to talk about "their experiences at USF, the big takeaways, and their professional journey"
after graduation. Staff are on hand to answer administrative and
technical questions.
"We are very clear about not briefing the alumni," she says. "We
tell them to answer the students' questions with candor. There
is total transparency, and the students and any accompanying
parents appreciate that. I want to ensure the students see us as a
university, and more specifically, as an India-based office that truly
has their interest at heart."
Zdawczyk, who has worked at Northwestern since 2004 and is
the university's associate director of admissions, says working with
alumni takes patience, staff time, and a good vetting process.
"You have to dedicate resources and be active about it.
Otherwise you run into issues and conflicts and disagreements
about what alumni should do and what you're asking them to do,"
he says. "What we have to keep in mind is that these are volunteers, and anytime we are engaging alumni they are being engaged
secondarily to what's going on in the rest of their lives. We want to
make their involvement a celebration, not an obligation." n
GLENN COOK is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in
Northern Virginia.

M A R .+ A P R . 2018 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

43  



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2018

From the Desk of
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Canada
Quick Questions
Feature: Using Technology to Reach Students Where They Are
Feature: Global Connections, Staying Local: Online International Education Continues to Grow As an Alternative—and Support—to In-Person Study
Feature: Getting to Work How Career Services Offices Are Helping Students Launch Their Careers
Feature: How Assessment Approaches Measure Up
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment
International Education Leadership
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 1
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 2
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 4
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2018 - From the Desk of
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Frontlines
International Educator - March/April 2018 - In Brief
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 11
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 12
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Global Spotlight: Canada
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 14
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 15
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Quick Questions
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 17
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Using Technology to Reach Students Where They Are
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 19
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 20
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 21
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 22
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 23
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Global Connections, Staying Local: Online International Education Continues to Grow As an Alternative—and Support—to In-Person Study
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 25
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 26
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 27
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: Getting to Work How Career Services Offices Are Helping Students Launch Their Careers
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 29
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 30
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 31
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Feature: How Assessment Approaches Measure Up
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 33
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 34
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 35
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 36
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 37
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Education Abroad
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 39
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 41
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Enrollment
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 43
International Educator - March/April 2018 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 45
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Forum
International Educator - March/April 2018 - 47
International Educator - March/April 2018 - In Focus
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2018 - Cover4
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