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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.

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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…

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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.

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#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.)

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#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…

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The Value of Living Life Abroad: A Student’s Perspective

This week, we turn directly to the voice of the international student–specifically, to our international student intern, Maartje Sebek (pictured above while traveling in Budapest), who has been working in our office since September and concluded her internship last week. (We seriously miss her already!)

Keeping the international student in mind as you create your marketing content is so important. Below, Maartje share's her perspectives on living and working abroad, why she decided to come to the US, and how her experience will benefit her future studies and career goals. Maartje’s motivations for this international experience and her decision-making process identify a few tools you should consider and point to valuable messages you might incorporate into your student marketing.

Among Maartje's many projects at Intead, she helped us pull off our first annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp, presented in partnership with CGACC. The theme was What Works Where and our conversations, workshops and presentations all focused on building recruiting and digital marketing strategies for the year ahead with a mind toward best practices, metrics and engaging the right audiences.

In the weeks ahead (starting next week) Intead's Recruiting Intelligence Blog will share some of the helpful worksheets from the conference.

Now, let's have Maartje tell her story: Hello blog readers, I’m Maartje, a 23-year old Dutch student who just returned home to the Netherlands after living abroad in the US. Currently, I’m studying at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, in the Small Business and Retail Management program. As part of my third year at my university, I had to complete a six-month internship. This is my story about how I chose my internship abroad and the value of international work experience.

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International Student Employability: How Do US Universities Stack Up?

 

It’s that time of year again—graduation! But amidst the accomplishments and excitement there is one thing weighing heavily on your students’ minds: what happens next!?

They have put in the time and effort, secured their degree and are now looking for the next step: a job. But just because graduation only happens once a year, doesn’t mean that’s the only time you should be thinking about your university’s employability data.

Bottom Line: While your website, social media pages, brochures and emails surely highlight all of the best things about your location, campus, programs, professors and activities, are you factoring in your employability data? Students (and their families) are really looking for that bit of security.

So, how exactly does the U.S. stack up in terms of placing students in jobs post-grad? Turns out, pretty well. The U.S. is the most desirable destination for international students. Its’ universities are dominating employability rankings and it has a comparatively low youth unemployment rate. This is the kind of data that can benefit your marketing efforts, whether or not your school is highlighted in the data.

Side Note: Are you going to the NAFSA Conference in Denver? We will be co-presenting with FPPEDUMedia and sharing our latest research on how current global, economic and political events are impacting students’ plans to study abroad—you don’t want to miss this! Set up a time to chat with us while you’re there, we’d love to meet you in person.

Please read on. Emily will share our perspective on employability data and international student recruitment...

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Student Retention Depends On Great Customer Experience

Do you get a lot of credit card offers in your mailbox? We certainly do. Those banks are paying a tremendous amount for all that direct mail. And they have analyzed the ratios and response rates to know beyond any doubt that RETAINING a current customer is FAR less expensive than RECRUITING a new one. Yet they still know that spending marketing dollars to get a new one is worth it, if done right. 

This week is about recruiting and retention.

Last week we borrowed from grocery store market research to learn about marketing your student outcomes. This week we will borrow from industry again to consider how international student experience relates to student retention. In other words, how to keep your customers happy. (Hint: listen to them).

We know that student retention is important. Your goal is to get them in the door AND see to it that they earn their degree. That produces satisfaction for everyone involved, on many levels. Here’s the thing: NAFSA’s research says your perspective on what keeps a student is likely different than the student’s perspective on the same thing.

Bottom Line: Current research from NAFSA suggests that international students want more internship and job opportunities and they will move around to find them. Setting clear expectations about what you have to offer before students arrive and listening to what they are really seeking from you will go a long way toward creating the student experience that results in retention and degrees earned.

We are full of questions today, and Emily is ready to step out of the box and tell us more about how student experience drives retention. And how you can drive student experience.

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