+1 (978) 744-8828 Email Us  

Recruiting Intelligence

Prospective Students Seek a Career Network (Part 2)

If career outcomes truly drive prospective student decision-making (they do), then a critical question arises for most institutions: Are you effectively utilizing your alumni to recruit new and retain current students? (We know what your answer will be).

Last week’s blog post laid out the benefits of building a strong global network of alumni and three cost-effective ways to get it off the ground:

  • Modernize data management
  • Start small and build out
  • Key into senior class leadership

Now, let’s talk about getting that network to engage, recruit, and help retain students.


But first, come learn with us. Your key international student markets are not what they used to be. Among our colleagues in this field, we see a tremendous thirst for gathering and evaluating recruitment options. Now is the time to pause and think this through. Join us at the Intead/San Diego State University One-Day Workshop, it’s a hands-on opportunity to learn from awe-inspiring international student recruitment faculty. You won’t want to miss it.

  • A full-day hands on workshop on strategy & execution. Come with questions, leave with a plan.
  • Two luminary keynotes
    • Luncheon on Social Justice with Dr. Jewell Winn and Adrienne Fusek
    • Dinner on Chinese Student Influencers with Dr. Yingyi Ma and Brad Farnsworth
  • At $200 for the day (inclusive of all meals), this full-day learning opportunity is a steal. (Pricing goes up to $350 on October 24, 2022).

Ok, back to the power of your alumni!

The Michigan State University Alumni Association has had a strong program with clear goals for its Alumni Student Recruitment program:

  • Increase the number of highly competitive and qualified students considering Michigan State at the undergraduate level and increase the percentage of admitted students who enroll
  • Provide a local information source for inquiring students, applicants, admitted and enrolled students, and their families
  • Provide regional assistance to the Michigan State admissions staff

Back in 2018, we were fortunate enough to co-present with Daniel Spadafore when he built and led this program at Michigan State in his role with the International Advancement Office. Also part of the presentation, Dr. Gretchen Dobson who has provided strong, consistent advocacy for the importance of alumni engagement that universities typically overlook.

Michigan State's goals can be adapted to other institutions based on their leadership, resources, and of course, the alumni network they have tracked to date. The process of implementing such a program is not as complicated as you may think.

Read on to learn more about how to develop an action plan for your alumni network that can yield positive returns on your investment.

Read More

Prospective Students Seek a Career Network (Part 1)

Going to university remains a search for direction and a process of maturation. And yet, there is a culture shift that has been growing over the past few decades. That culture shift is around the value of degrees vs. short-term certificates. It is around the value of a traditional 4-year university education vs. acquiring the skills to quickly land a valuable job. Cybersecurity and data analytics anyone?

Before we dive in, how confident are you with your selection of international student recruitment markets right now? You, our blog subscribers, have first shot at this limited seating workshop.


Among our colleagues in this field, we see a tremendous thirst for gathering and evaluating our options, with time to really talk it through. The Intead/San Diego State University One-Day Workshop will be a hands-on opportunity to learn from an awe-inspiring international student recruitment faculty.

  • Come with questions, leave with a plan.
  • Two luminary keynotes
    • Luncheon on Social Justice with Dr. Jewell Winn and Adrienne Fusek
    • Dinner on Chinese Student Influencers with Dr. Yingyi Ma and Brad Farnsworth
    • A full day of international student recruitment strategy and execution discussion
  • At $200 for the day (inclusive of all meals), this learning opportunity is a steal. (Pricing goes up to $350 on October 24, 2022).

For most undergraduates, studying at a university is now the first opportunity to interact with and cultivate the network connections that are so vital to getting a job and building a successful career in the 21st-century global economy.

In their recently published book, The Real World of College: What Higher Education is and What It Can Be, authors Wendy Fischman and Howard Gardner note the shift in attitude and expectations among students from ‘we’ to ‘I’.

“The prevalence of ‘I’ over ‘we’ gives insight into what we believe is a troubling problem for the sector of higher education—students’ preoccupation with ‘self,’” Fischman notes.

Now we can debate if this shift is troublesome. Maybe. Maybe not. But we can’t deny the shift in attitudes toward it and how this new mindset should influence your recruitment strategies.

Read on to learn how a shift in strategy can help you secure stronger enrollment among the so-called ‘I’ generation…

Read More

You Mean My Opinion Matters? The Power of International Student Internships

Does your institution work hard to develop employer connections?

Due to the pandemic, Intead paused its international student internship program. We are so glad to have it back as we return to the office.

As a rising Junior from Germany studying at UMass Amherst, Klara Lehmann thinks a lot about her future. She jumped at the chance to intern at Intead over the summer break. We were lucky to have her thoughtful and thorough approach to our work.

The level of effort most institutions put into developing career-shaping opportunities for their students typically underwhelms. Students, like Klara, who push for opportunities are far more likely to succeed than those who do not. So many students require additional motivation and support from their institutions to develop skills through internships.

Yet, skills development may not be the most valuable aspect of internships. From what we have seen, the real value is in how students develop an understanding, outside the classroom, of what they would like to develop into, what they would like their future to be. It is all about learning in a different environment. The networking and resume content doesn't hurt, though.

Learn with us:

  • Recruiting from Bangladesh: The Intead team will be presenting an AIRC Webinar on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. The process and results of our recent digital campaign recruiting international students for Truman State University will be on full display. Register HERE.
  • Global Marketing Strategy & Campaign Analytics: Ben and Iliana will be presenting on a range of marketing strategy and analytics sessions with colleagues from Northeastern University, Clark University, Central Connecticut State University, and University of New Hampshire at the NAFSA Region XI Conference in Manchester, NH, Nov 18-20, 2022. Click HERE to schedule a time to meet us.

Read on for a firsthand look at Klara’s reflections on her internship experience. Consider who, on your team, from career services on up, needs to hear this message. Internship experiences and the student stories you can share with your prospective students will go a long way toward differentiating your institution in a competitive market. Klara’s story makes the case for your institutional investment very clear.

Read More

Not Rocket Science

Global student recruitment, finding student segments domestically and abroad, is simply not rocket science.

We know the processes and don't need another generic report about what students are thinking and how important parents are to the process. If new student mobility trend data of significance emerges (thank you IIE and National Clearinghouse), you can count on us to evaluate it and report on it. But, most of the reports we are seeing right now from marketing agencies (like us) are rehashing everything we already know.

And annoyingly, they are somehow pointing to their nothing new findings as revelatory. Wut?

So, let’s get to work plotting out the work and bringing the successful results we all want.

The Formula: custom research on your differentiators, your strongest recruitment options (countries/regions), and messaging that engages your target audience on the channels they use.

That’s really about it. That’s what we need. Oh, and to do it successfully, that actually requires investment, technology, and expertise.

So...yes, trend analysis because decision making actually did change since 2019 - safety, cost, the value of education overall, visa issues - all much more significant. These factors existed before the pandemic, before the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, and the ever-horrific state of gun violence in the US. Not new info. All of these factors have been on students’ and parents’ minds for a while. Yours too, right?

And yet, international students continue to find value in a US education and the experience of living and studying in the US. And as they make their decisions, all the things we see in the latest reports and infographics about student mobility trends say essentially the same things we’ve seen for more than a decade.

Reputation matters. Rank matters (more in some regions than others). Career connections matter, parent opinions matter, etc., etc., etc. Tedious findings touted as new, ground-breaking, must-have trend analysis.

Read on for a few student influencers that are actually rising to the top of students' decision-making criteria, and more importantly, what all of this means for your institution's recruitment planning. 

Read More

State of Higher Education 2022: Top 5 Takeaways

Your campus may feel a little cozier this fall as housing units start to fill up again. Welcome news, right?

The enrollment dip we’ve been living through could rebound to pre-pandemic levels, meaning we may see nearly 1 million more enrolled students aged 18-24 in 2022 than in 2021. This is according to analytics giant Gallup.

Likely your team is seeing a positive shift in inquiry and applications. (No? Then be in touch).

The big question still is whether all that activity results in actual enrollments. There is reason to be skeptical at many institutions.

In Gallup’s recently issued The State of Higher Education 2022 Report, done in partnership with Lumina Foundation, we see some interesting results. The central goal of their work: to help inform institutions how to better support current and prospective students. The survey included adults aged 18+ who have completed high school and are living in the US.

Many survey participants are currently pursuing a degree, others unenrolled from their certificate or degree program since Covid. Many others are prospective students who never enrolled in a certificate or degree program after high school.

We are thrilled to have these insights in advance of #NAFSA22 to inform our discussions with all of you. If you’ve not yet scheduled a meeting with us at the conference, please be in touch quickly. Our schedule is nearly filled up. You’ll be receiving a summary of our 4 NAFSA don’t-wanna-miss-em presentations by email.

From Gallup, we took special note of the finding that despite the many (many) disruptions caused by the pandemic, US adults (aged 18-29) remain interested in pursuing higher education. There have been many stories of the growing anit-higher ed sentiment. So how do we lock in on those with high intent?

If you haven’t read the report, it’s one you won’t want to miss. Read on for a link to the report and the top 5 takeaways we think will be the most valuable to your team…

Read More

The GROWING Pool of Enrollable Students, Part 3

Let’s talk about how your institution seals the deal with non-traditional students. It is all about the planning and execution – both the marketing, and the heavy lifting that happens before the marketing. You are going to need the goods in place before the campaigns roll so that you are able to deliver on the marketing promises made.

Briefly Reviewing the Opportunity

This is our third post in our three-part series about students who have Some College, No Degree (SCND) non-traditional students. In last week’s blog post, we discussed the segment within these 36 million Americans who are most likely to return to school—Potential Completers.

Now, just because they have a high likelihood of re-enrolling, doesn’t mean they actually do it. But, since the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s original report in 2014, about 940,000 SCND students have since re-enrolled and have completed their degrees. That is roughly the same number of international students currently studying in the US – another valuable student segment we love to talk about.

There’s the projection that non-traditional students will double the enrollment growth of traditional students by 2022. This is why, a number of years back, the Intead team applied our targeted marketing research and execution skills to this growing segment. Our aim: position your institution to take advantage of the trends that matter. You've grabbed our non-traditional student marketing ebook from us by now, right? 

A Challenging Reality

We all know academic industries are slow to change and move. Convening the right team and presenting them with the data that supports change is how things get done. The team at Intead is often sought to facilitate that transition and help set a cogent and actionable plan for student enrollment growth...based on data.

There are many factors to consider as you evaluate how to maintain or expand your enrollment numbers in the face of significant market shifts. It is all about how you plan and execute.

Over the next two weeks, the Intead team, Patricia, Alicia, Stephanie and Ben, are attending a number of our industry’s major conferences: TABS, ICEF and AIRC. We will be sharing data on international and domestic student mobility at the high school and university levels and the digital marketing tools that can truly change your institution’s position in the competitive market – from peer-to-peer platforms, to artificial intelligence, and the ever shifting pay-per-click campaigns that engage your target audiences.

Developing an Actionable Plan

So, about those planning and execution tips to help you enroll non-traditional students AND a preview of all the market research we are about to drop.

Want to get a jump on it? Reach out: info@intead.com and Read On

Read More

#EdTech for Career Prep in the Digital Age, Part 2

With your university years over, you are facing the end of your traditional education and the start of your career. You are done sitting through classes and handing in academic assignments. No more finals!

Your students have worked so hard to reach this point. And they’ve spent a fair amount of time researching their career options. Did they do all they could to maximize relevant work experience while in school? Internships? Career networking? Resume writing, LinkedIn profiling, interview practicing, alumni outreaching, job board searching, cover letter writing. This career entry thing is hard work!

Has your institution done all it could to help them pursue the career and land the job?

This is what education is all about. Transitioning the learner to then practice their craft, use what they’ve learned.

This is the second half of a two-part series on how to help students cross the bridge to employment. In Part 1, we spoke about EdTech that can help students prep for careers through mentorship and coaching, as well as platforms for virtual work experience, where students can do some of the daily tasks of their chosen career in an online micro internship. What other resources are out there to help strengthen their profile and seal the deal?

(Read on.)

Read More

#EdTech for Career Prep in the Digital Age, Part 1

Going to College Question: Is it the journey or the destination?

Answer: It’s both, but the destination must be worth it.

After years of classes and seminars, learning and discourse, pizza and so many late nights (SO many late nights), the goal of attending university is for a student to find a job.

A university able to give confidence about the future to their prospective students will be in a stronger position than their peer institutions. Career placement stats are found on most university websites. But how about something more concrete? How can you differentiate?

In a two-part series, we are going to talk about ways that your institution can help students arrive at that destination. There are some very cool career prep resources available.

This is about career mentoring and coaching and how your students find the professionals with employer insights and connections—either from within your faculty, administration, alumni pool or through emerging tech tools (#EdTech social platforms).

The destination of the university journey is of course a job (better yet, a career). Talking to domestic and international students regularly, their focus is, of course, on their future.

“What will I do with this degree? Will it have value to me?”

Connecting to your alumni is an essential part of all of this. And yet, universities are investing so little in their global alumni as a new student recruitment resource. If you’ve not already done so, download our Global Alumni Management: State of the Field research here.

And read on for our review of Career Prep tools and resources…

Read More

Self-Made: Supporting Entrepreneurship and Tech Training for International Students

Before our international blogger Emily shares some insights into supporting entrepreneurial-minded students, Denver is the PLACE TO BE next week! #NAFSA16 We will be co-presenting new research with FPPEDUMedia on how current global, economic and political events are impacting students’ plans to study abroad. We will be in room CCC, Mile High Ballroom 4DE on Wednesday, June 1 at 10AM. Don’t miss this potentially game-changing research! We also invite you to schedule a time to chat with us during the conference. We are looking forward to meeting you!

This week we address international students as budding entrepreneurs…

We all know the story of Facebook, right? Or, should we say, we all know the story of Mark Zuckerberg? You know, the startup hero who began Facebook while he was studying at Harvard who is now worth $51.9 billion? While many young people dream of following a similar path, they have trouble finding systems to support them on their entrepreneurial journey. Beyond education, they need connections to the business and technology world. Universities are taking notice of these dreamers and doers, and it’s paying off.

Bottom Line: Business management is the most commonly chosen major for international students. With 197,258 international students studying for this degree, keeping a competitive edge in the field is key. To give students the return on investment they are looking for, universities need to prepare students for new challenges in the business world. It is a tech driven world and your students need to be well-prepared for tech challenges. Students are searching for quality entrepreneurial-focused programs but the programs still aren’t that widespread. Through events like hackathons and other marketing efforts you can attract potential entrepreneurial-focused international students—IF you have the programs to support them. Intrigued? Read more for some tips on how to attract these kind of tech-savvy, forward-thinking students.

Read More

Motivations of the Highly Motivated: Marketing to International Graduate Students

Did you know that in the United States, first time graduate enrollment grew by 3.5% between fall 2013 and fall 2014? The Council of Graduate Schools’ (CGS) report Graduate Enrollment and Degrees: 2004 to 2014 provides tons of information on graduate study trends. According to the report, “from 2004 to 2014, international students accounted for over two-thirds of the growth in first-time enrollment headcounts at U.S. graduate institutions.” And that first time enrollment figure is 11.2%. So lots of new international students and the vast majority of them at the grad level. Good news for international recruiters, right? We think so!  

Bottom Line: Graduate students are an important segment of international students to target with your digital marketing and their needs are different than their younger counterparts. Their motivations to study, the programs of interest and the influences for them to choose one program over another all vary. Mostly, they want to know they will get a job with a degree from your program. Similar to undergrad motivations but perhaps iwth a finer point on it.

Importantly, even if your institution is lesser known, you can still market the strengths of a top-tier program to these highly motivated students. They pay attention to that kind of thing within their area of interest. If your marketing efforts to international graduate students are limited in time and budget (whose aren't?), you would do well to focus on these two things: your career outcomes and your highly acclaimed departments and professors. Make sure you are capturing your target audience's attention with messaging they’ll react to.

NAFSA is right around the corner! We will be co-presenting new research with FPPEDUMedia on how current global, economic and political events are impacting students’ plans to study abroad. So, while you are building your schedule for the conference, pencil us in for Wednesday, June 1 at 10AM and schedule a time to chat with us! Actually, use a pen, you really won’t want to miss this one. Trust us!

Read More
Content not found