Peter, Peter Felix
My Role as an Alumnus to my Alma Mater and Alumni Association
Written by: Peter, Peter Felix (Yellow House, 2006 Set)
I still remember with concise reverie the first day I stepped my foot into FGC Ikom, I was seated in the hind sit of my dad’s Peugeot 504, and the time was around 2pm, September 2000 and I was elated partly because of the unknown that starred me in the face, and partly because of the prospect of meeting other eggheads, though at that time, I was no one compared to what the school has molded me into today. Many years after, I stand proudly among peers as FGC Ikom has structured me both in character and learning, I owe most of my educational prowess and dexterity to my alma mater.
Education at all levels has never been more essential to the well-being of the global community. Yet, educational institutions face an increasing challenging environment in which to attract students, faculty and benefactors as well as to earn alumni allegiance, government support and public respect. Today, educational milieu demands attention to specific ways that college activities influence those who attend it. Thus, the effects of college experiences on students have long been of interest to educational researchers and higher education administrators. The word alumni mean an institution’s graduates and former students (Ransdell, 1989). The concept of alumni relations dates back to 1792. College and university alumni play important roles in supporting higher education. This support is most visible in the area of charitable giving.
Alumni associations are important as they can serve as entities in marketing educational institutions and promoting the best interests of their alma mater and the education sector at large. They also engender a spirit of belonging and unity which is a necessary element in surmounting the difficult challenges facing our education sector in Nigeria today.
Indeed, the immense benefits of alumni networks has led to the establishment of global charity organizations such as “Future First Global”, which is aimed at transforming the school to work transition for millions of young people worldwide over the next decade. The charity was launched based on the findings of a research study that covered countries in Asia, East and West Africa, Latin America, North America, Europe and the Middle East, sponsored by the Open Society Foundations of which Prof Odinkalu is one of the supremos. We must begin to look at those critical areas where our role can play huge impacts. Some areas are school’s infrastructures and quality of teachers, which have suffered the most.
This brings me to the position where I ask myself, “What is my role as an alumnus to my alma-mater and also my role to my alumni association?” If we must secure the future, we must stand our ground to defend the integrity of the learning spaces. We must collectively facilitate and intervene to ensure development and progress in the reformation of the education sector. Our interventions can come collectively or separately. What we should never forget is that there is great reward in giving back to the system that in a way impacted our lives. Basic learning tools such as Library, computers, and books can be provided by alumni associations.
As a member of this alumni association, my wealth of experience should be an addition to the system I once learned under. I cannot afford to fail in my roles and responsibilities. I have so much I can give back to my institution. Our progress as Nigerians is tied to the gains we can get from our educational system. If we do nothing, the rot will continue and may haunt us all in future. One of the most basic ways of giving back to our alma mater apart from the financial aspects is to work at the alma mater, help shape the lives of others, just as it was done for you. Here are five reasons why working at your alma mater is a great.
You have less stress: As author Simon Sinek wrote, "When we work hard on something we believe in, it's called passion. When we work hard on something we don't believe in, it's called stress."
You are the product, not a consumer.
You are a more desirable candidate.
You know the history, be part of its history
You will be more productive.
Alumni are brand ambassadors, dispersed around the globe and contributing to the reputation of their alma mater. Alumni in management can be in the position to hire co-op students. This is a win-win-win for the students (invaluable career experience), and the company (hiring the most promising candidates).
I would like to drop my ink with a statement which reads thus “Don't be proud of your college - make your college proud to have you”