Young Alumni

The Global Clubs Network plays a critical role in bridging the gap between students and alumni.  It is important to attract and involve recent graduates in club activities as soon as they arrive in your city.  In addition, by engaging new admits, you can make expose them to the strong alumni network even before they arrive on campus.  At the end of each academic year, your staff liaison will send you a list of all recent graduates, summer interns, and new admits coming to/from your city.  

Wharton Young Alumni by the Numbers

  • 20% of Wharton alumni graduated within the past 10 years
  • 14% of Wharton alumni are under age 35
  • Young alumni percentage of total population can vary greatly!
    • In New York, there are ~4.5k young alumni, but they make up only 19% of the total alumni population
    • In Beijing there are ~150 young alumni, which comprise 42% of the total alumni population
  • Understanding your region or affinity demographics can help you make sure your programs fit your audience. For a large young alumni population like Beijing, it would be important to have a strong young alumni specific strategy; for a population like Tokyo, which has 4% young alumni, it makes better sense to find special ways to include young alumni in your current programs.

Student to Alumni Transition

Wharton clubs will receive graduating student data over the summer, typically in June. Clubs on the NationBuilder website platform can create a filter to see who has recently moved to their city. Reach out to globalclubs@wharton.upenn.edu for more information!

Wharton students find out about the Global Clubs Network by:

  • Attending a club-hosted admissions reception or alumni panel
  • Speaking to a Wharton alumnus or alumna as part of the Wharton Alumni Yield program
  • Attending summer events hosted by a club in their local area
  • During Pre-Term or student orientation
  • Partnering student clubs with alumni clubs
  • During their alumni orientation program

Calendar of engagement for admits, students, interns, and recent alumni:

Welcome Templates

Try using or developing a template to welcome recent graduates to the alumni community and your club. Clubs using the NationBuilder website platform can send these templates using the website’s email tool. Reach out to globalclubs@wharton.upenn.edu for more information.

 

Young Alumni Profiles

When designing programs for young alumni, consider how content might fit into their personal and professional lives. Developing personas or profiles is a great way to help you brainstorm ideas. Use our examples or create some of your own!

 

Event Planning Tips

  • Plan events on a variety of days
    • 25-30% of recent MBA graduates enter the consulting industry each year. That means that a large portion of the young alumni population is on the road Monday through Friday! Consider planning an occasional Friday or weekend event to include those who cannot attend events on weekdays.
  • Partner with other clubs
    • If your young alumni population is smaller, consider partnering with another alumni club to extend your young alumni network.
  • Plan family events
    • Many young alumni are just beginning their families; consider inviting them to a family-friendly activity!
  • Plan events in different neighborhoods
    • Depending on your region, some neighborhoods may be home to larger concentrations of young alumni or be easier to commute to. Chat with your staff liaison to think about what makes best sense based on your population distribution.
  • Find unique or interesting venues
    • Talk to your young alumni and see what interesting venues they might want to explore! Some great examples we have seen are Top Golf, table tennis bars, and local breweries.

Event Marketing Tips

  • Personal Outreach
    • Commit to personally inviting young alumni to your event! This is an extremely effective way to increase the likelihood of attendance.
  • Young alumni ticket prices
  • “Bring a friend” incentives
    • Young alumni especially are more likely to attend an event when they know other people who are going. Give them an opportunity to increase attendance numbers and feel most comfortable by offering a buy one, get one ticket.
  • Young alumni signer for emails
    • Increase the likelihood of young alumni to open emails from the club by sending from our signing from a young alumnus or alumna on your leadership team.
  • Targeted email messages
  • Social Media

 

Event Ideas

Nostalgic Student Experiences

Consider tapping into the memories and shared experiences of flagship student events to unite the young alumni community within your club!

Undergraduate

  • Winter Whartonland (December): celebration of the end of the fall semester
  • Business of Life Lecture (fall): a professor or alum provides a lecture to the undergrads on life advice/what they would like to impart to students
  • Wharton 5K (April): Undergrad-MBA joint program—5K thru campus/fundraiser for charity
  • Chillin' & Grillin' (April): celebratory event during Spring Fling
  • Senior Pub (various times): a time for seniors to get together with classmates

MBA

  • Thursday night Pub
  • Follies
  • Walnut Walk

Membership 

Membership means different things to each club. For about half of our clubs it’s a source of revenue, for the other half that don’t charge membership dues, it’s a way to describe the alumni community that everyone is automatically a part of by graduating. Whether you charge for membership or not, there are a few universal best practices we can apply.

  • Create early impressions of the alumni community and the club through new admits and students.
    • In the Philippines, they make a huge impression on new admits by inviting them to a reception at a higher profile alumnus or alumna’s home. The new admits are made to feel as if they are already a part of something incredibly special and exclusive, something to look forward to giving back to after they graduate.
  • Offer discounted or free membership to recent graduates
    • All young alumni in Chicago are automatically assigned one year of free membership to the club so that they can experience club membership before buying into it.
  • Clearly outline the benefits of membership. Whether it’s special access to members-only programs or discounted event tickets, young alumni especially need to know what buying into the club will get them.
  • Tap into the strength of connections between classmates
    • The Wharton Club of Brazil identifies a class ambassador for each class year to rally their peers and encourage participation in the club. They get started early by identifying class representatives for each class of students so that they can be involved while enrolled at Wharton!

Leadership

Recruiting young alumni to join your club in a leadership capacity is the ultimate engagement. Not only does it exemplify their membership, but shows that they are ready to contribute back to the club and make it their own.

  • Clear job descriptions
    • This creates accountability and helps recruit someone who is absolutely ready to take on the role. It can also provide context and incentive for young alumni if the job description ties back to professional skills they are looking to sharpen in a volunteer capacity.
  • Match your board to your demographics
    • A great way to incorporate data into your leadership strategy is to examine the demographics for your region and commit to reflecting them in your board. If your region has 10% young alumni, consider having at least one young alumnus or alumna on your board for every 10 seats.
  • Distributed leadership structure
    • Foster a sense of teamwork and a sound succession plan. Rather than leaving all young alumni strategy up to one person, consider convening a committee for young alumni that can brainstorm, distribute work, and fill in gaps as work picks up or family responsibilities evolve.