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In an age of budget cuts using your alumni to fill in the gaps

  1. In An Age of Budget Cuts, Using Your Alumni To Fill in the Gaps An open discussion on the value of study abroad alumni.
  2. Overview •  The Budget •  The Students •  The Resource •  The Incentive •  The Work •  The Field
  3. Presenters • Andrew Bennett - ISA • Lisa Loberg - Cal Lutheran • LaSharon McLean Perez - UC Riverside • Andra Jacques - Point Loma Nazarene
  4. Sources •  Interviews conducted with study abroad staff from: –  UC San Diego – 10 study abroad, 2 Global Seminar workers –  UC Irvine – 10 -13 peer advisors –  UC Riverside – 3 paid student workers, 10-14 volunteers –  CSU Fullerton – 2 paid student workers –  CSU Long Beach – 4 paid student workers –  CSU San Marcos – 1 study abroad, 1 IP student worker –  California Lutheran University – 5 paid and 2 interns –  Point Loma Nazarene – 1 paid student worker, 8 volunteers –  ISA Alumni Department – 250 Global Ambassadors nationwide
  5. The Budget
  6. The budget •  $750 million was cut from both the UC’s and CSU’s last year •  While tuition has increased by 28% percent across the nation in the last five years, UC tuition risen 73% and CSU tuition has increased 84%. •  2.5 billion in higher education since 2008 •  Like the rest of campus, study abroad offices are seeing their budgets cut too. •  Positions are being released, retirees are not being replaced, and new hires are being offered miniscule salaries or partial hours.
  7. Evolving Responsibilities •  While study abroad alumni have always worked or volunteered at study abroad offices, their roles are now evolving to fill in what the budget cuts have taken away •  Taking on roles like: –  Advising –  Processing applications –  Transcripts –  Handling financial aid –  Communicating with admissions, financial aid, professors, departments, students and parents
  8. The students
  9. The Returnee Student •  Unparalleled energy •  They desire to retain some sort of connection to the experience •  Friends willing to listen to “when I was abroad” stories becoming scarce •  Looking for a flexible campus job •  Looking for work experience and resume building •  Interested in the international field
  10. Alumnus Potente •  Studied in multiple locations •  Studied in non-traditional locations •  Takes initiative •  Unafraid of public speaking •  Problem solving/advising skills •  Has camera, will shoot •  Graphics savvy •  Social media savvy •  Was not a pain in the application process •  Organizational skills •  Communication/public speaking skills
  11. Variety of relations •  Office Workers Paid by the SAO –  Peer Advisors –  Outreach –  Front Desk –  Administrative •  Federal Work-Study •  Global Ambassadors (ISA) –  Paid for by providers –  Training •  Periodic Volunteers –  Keeping a list of dependable alumni •  Submission of media (blogs/pictures/video)
  12. Provider Interns Free assistance or bias influence? •  Nearly every major provider has an alumni internship program. •  Free resource •  The provider, study abroad office, and intern need to coordinate on how the student will promote the provider program along with study abroad in general on campus. •  What has been you experience? Positive/negative?
  13. ISA’s Global Ambassador Program •  Started in 2007 •  Enlist returnees as promotions/marketing interns on their home campuses. •  Duties include: –  Assisting study abroad office •  Volunteering at fairs •  Classroom presentations •  Office hours advising –  Postering –  Greek presentations –  Tabling. Many make posters. –  Accompanying the ISA rep –  ISA workshop
  14. The Resource
  15. Marketer Supreme •  From the moment they get of the plane, returnees become your most vocal and visible proponents of studying abroad. •  While you’re trying to get more likes on your office’s Facebook page, they’ve been adding friends since they were in middle school. •  Peer to peer advising. •  They are the demographic you’re trying to reach
  16. Masters of Media •  Encourage these activities during orientation, remind them while abroad through email, and ask for submissions after they return. –  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, –  Graphic design –  Photography –  Film and video editing –  Web design –  Blogs •  Still, there is also much on the job training that happens in the office.
  17. Alumni Behind the Lens •  Photo contest, then show photos from our submissions. •  Are you hosting photo contests? –  Free content for websites, social media posts, print material –  Promotes student involvement –  Increases their connection to your office •  The next wave: video content •  Video blogging scenery, university, housing, excursions and personal anecdotes
  18. Reporters on the ground •  Incentivise blogging by offering it as an internship –  Reach out to your English, Journalism, or Creative Writing departments –  Broach the subject of coordinated internships with appropriate academic departments on campus. Ask that writing submissions be included in the assignment –  Talk to the school newspaper about publishing opportunities –  Connect writers with classrooms
  19. The Incentive
  20. Recruitment of Alumni •  During their study abroad application process, keep an eye for the all-stars •  Email blast all returning students •  But personally invite a few stand out returnees to apply •  Work through career center, emphasizing experience working in an international field
  21. Payment •  Pay ranges from minimum wage to $12 across surveyed schools. •  Raises are possible in some schools, not all.
  22. The Incentive •  All this is grand, but how do you get the students to actually follow through with these tasks, especially on a tight budget? How do you keep them motivated?
  23. The Work
  24. Training •  Bring students in before the semester starts •  Keep close tabs on students at the beginning of their advising. •  Ask your provider representatives to hold info sessions to educate the students on the different programs
  25. Duties •  Marketing/Customer Service: • Administrative: –  First line of advising in the - Processing applications office - Review transcripts - Processing financial aid –  Leading info sessions - Following up for missing –  Classroom presentations documents –  Tabling on campus - Taking passport pictures –  Pre-departure orientations –  Re-entry orientations –  Working reception
  26. Where do you draw the line? •  As helpful as student workers can be, there must be a line of responsibility they can’t cross –  Final grades from transcripts –  Confidential Information •  What duties should we keep from them? •  What duties require an advisor’s approval?
  27. The field
  28. Real importance •  These are jobs with real responsibilities •  The students work has an affect on peoples lives •  They are selling something they believe in •  Their passion and interest is rooted in a life-changing experience they had themselves, but it is our responsibility to inform them on how to turn this experience and work into a potential career.
  29. Professional Development •  Already exposed to professional aspects of working in and office: demeanor, marketing, customer service, communication skills •  The relationships built with study abroad staff naturally lead to mentoring students on life after college •  Resume review •  International resources at their fingertips •  Letters of recommendation from international professionals •  Help applying for grad school, Fulbright, Rotary, etc.
  30. In-House Networking •  See the inner-workings of a study abroad office •  Exposed to university administrative functions •  Have support in attending conferences in the field •  Get to meet different providers reps and hear about their offices in different cities and life on the road
  31. Lessons From Abroad •  Saturday event taking place in San Diego, Los Angeles, Bay Area, and now…NEBRASKA! •  Students dress in business attire and bring a portfolio of resumes •  Sessions pertaining to the field of international education, going abroad again by myriad routes, travel writing, photo journalism, etc •  Networking with a wide variety of professionals in the field: schools, providers, corporations, non-profits, etc.
  32. NAFSA •  32 students attendees here this week •  222 at the NAFSA national 2012 •  Job networking, resume distribution •  Informational interview •  Professional development and training
  33. Success Stories •  Most alumni who return to work in the study abroad office stay connected to the international community in some form •  Many go back abroad. Half the student workers at UCSD have or are planning to study abroad twice •  JET, Peace Corps, teaching abroad •  Graduate school domestic and abroad •  Joining int’l ed. (EA, ISSS, or provider)
  34. Thank you for attending Thank you for listening Thank you for participating
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