Claire O’Neill – Manager, Alumi Relations shares the latest information about the brand new GEMS Alumni application
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When students graduate from GEMS, they enter the big world of business, whether their paths lead them to university, employment, travel, a gap year or a combination of any of these.
GEMS Alumni go on to achieve amazing things – after all, they were educated by the best! That’s why keeping in contact with former students through various means is incredibly important to us. Alumni can tap into markets we may not foresee, as they begin to associate with different circles within their community.
At GEMS, we realise how a strong and positive relationship with alumni can benefit them socially, academically and professionally. Likewise, to the alumni community we understand that it is not just mere nostalgia that they associate their alma mater with, it is much beyond that.
We know our alumni are out there doing amazing things, and we have a global network of alumni stretching across 80 countries. Keeping track of their successes and achievements is very important to us and in doing so will also help position GEMS schools as a destination for successful people in the future.
An effective alumni relationship begins with providing a successful experience to our students. The attachment that alumni have towards their alma mater depends on the effort that GEMS takes to make their days memorable as students.
After all, GEMS Alumni are a reflection of the past, a representation of the present and an important link to our future success.
Here, our Manager for Alumni Relations – Claire O’Neill tells us about the new GEMS Alumni application, how she is finding past students and what the future hold for the GEMS Alumni programme.
Hi Claire. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background
I studied Business & Languages in college and spent a few years working in the corporate world only to discover it wasn’t the best fit for me. I then entered the world of education, completed a PGDE in Education and spent seven years teaching in a high school which I found both rewarding and challenging.
I love learning and developing and felt it was time for another change and so I moved on to work with adults in a variety of different roles and settings such as Training and Employment officer for long term unemployed and Student Engagement and Support officer in a higher education college. I also recently completed a MSc. in Guidance Counselling to further develop my skills and experience which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve always had a passion for helping others reach their potential and I hope to use my experience and training in this new role as Alumni Manager to ensure all GEMS Alumni can reach their potential and continue to be successful in the future.
What is the GEMS Alumni application?
The GEMS Alumni application is a new platform where all former GEMS students can connect with former classmates and other GEMS students. It provides an opportunity for alumni to grow their network and be part of the GEMS global community.
What are the main features of the application?
The main features of the application are; access to a global alumni directory, news and announcements section, information on upcoming events and career and employability section which will encompass all areas relating to university applications and internship/job opportunities. Alumni can also join or create a group and sign up to become a mentor using the app.
What do you hope that app will achieve?
Our main objective with the app is to provide access to a global network of alumni connections for all former GEMS students. We want to deliver a range of engagement activities to support our alumni as they progress through different stages of their professional lives and beyond. Alumni will have access to Uni Connect for example where they can access a range of opportunities from Postgraduate study to internships and scholarships.
Whilst the app will provide many different threads such as mentorship, internship and employability options, we also want to use the app to continue to drive the GEMS brand recognition globally. After all alumni are the perfect spokespeople and brand ambassadors for GEMS.
Alumni connections are for life and a great resource for reconnecting, networking and staying in touch with the GEMS Community.
How are you finding our Alumni?
We are utilising as many channels as possible to reach out to GEMS Alumni both nationally and internationally. Given that GEMS have alumni scattered across the globe we want to ensure we can target as many as possible. Schools have provided us with some data on former students and we are also using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to help us get connected and build our alumni community. In addition, we hope that word of mouth will also be a valuable tool to ensure other alumni are aware of the new alumni app and all that is has to offer.
How can our Alumni contribute towards our GEMS Jewels of Kindness and Respect programme?
Growing the GEMS Jewels of Kindness and Respect programme organically and from the ‘inside’ has always been a key focus. After six months of the programme running successfully we are keen to take it to the next level through contributions of our alumni. GEMS Alumni provides a fantastic opportunity to ‘give back’ to GEMS Education. We want to draw on the alumni’s kindness experiences when they were in a GEMS school and generally in life. These informal presentations across our vast network can act as further endorsement, providing a different dimension to the programme and arming our students with unforgettable stories, expert advice and knowledge.
What will our Alumni offer to our current students and parents?
Alumni will offer experience and support through mentoring and volunteering. Alumni who become mentors will provide professional and personal support to facilitate student success in school and beyond. Mentoring allows our alumni to use their knowledge, experience and creativity to help students navigate through their school and professional careers. It also provides mentors with the opportunity to give back to GEMS and support and foster the next generation in leaving their legacy.
The GEMS Alumni application is available now on iOS and Android.