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Behind An Alumnus’ Decision to Return

A highly positive undergraduate experience is all it takes for some professionals to decide to look up their alma mater’s offerings when searching out continuing education opportunities.

The following interview is with Michael Cary, an experienced Talent Management and Training professional who is an alumnus of the University of Michigan. In the interview, Cary discusses his own background in ongoing education and professional development, and shares a few a few successful strategies Michigan used to convince him to return for his ongoing education.

1. You’re an alumnus of the University of Michigan, have you ever done continuing education or professional development through your alma mater?

Absolutely. I went to the business school some years ago, it was wonderful.

2. Did the fact that Michigan is your alma mater influence your decision to enroll there for ongoing education?

Absolutely. Our company had used the business school before and when they found out I went to Michigan, they asked me if I would like to go—if I thought it was a good program. I said I knew it was and so I got afforded the opportunity.

3. Do you think the university is doing a good job of reaching out to its alumni with continuing education and professional development opportunities?

It worked for me. I was of course on an email list and I also got brochures. That’s what I was able to provide my supervisor and that’s what I was able to convince my training department to let me go with.

For me, they’re doing a good job.

4. What do you think the university could do better or differently to attract more of their alumni to return for continuing education and professional development?

I’m not sure. As long as the alumni are willing to connect with you, either through the website or through email updates or perhaps through LinkedIn, I think if the university reaches out through those ways it will be successful. That’s certainly how it worked for me.