After the Competition: Advice from Alumni
For graduating Enactus students, the end of national competition season can be bittersweet. On one hand, the event is the perfect culmination of their Enactus experience and a way to celebrate the impact they’ve had as an active participant. On the other, there is sadness that this will be their last Enactus event, the end of an experience that has significantly impacted them personally and professionally.
But it doesn’t have to be this way: as students make the transition to alumni, there are numerous opportunities to stay involved in Enactus. We reached out to five alumni from around the world (meet them below!) to see how they stay connected, both through competitions and throughout the year.
Overwhelmingly, they all told us that there is no shortage of opportunities to stay involved and our alumni wear many hats: from creating a national alumni network to advising teams, from serving as a league coordinator to introducing the organization to potential donors. Here are their top five suggestions for staying engaged as an Enactus alum.
1. Get involved in your alumni network.
One of the best ways to stay engaged in Enactus after graduation is connecting with an alumni network. These may be organized locally by your team or nationally by the country operation. Whatever level you choose to participate at and in whatever role you choose to play, you will find a unique opportunity to network with others who share your passion for Enactus’ mission. Larin, for example, heads the Enactus Germany Alumni Association and has seen countless opportunities to give back while also personally benefiting from being involved. It can also be professionally rewarding as those involved will come from a variety of industries and organizations.
2. If there isn’t an alumni network to join, start one!
Two of the alumni we interviewed took the initiative to start an alumni network in their area, and you can too! Djhonder was also one of the pioneers behind the Enactus Philippines Alumni Association and plays an active role in tracking and engaging alumni all over the Philippines. And Akram founded and chairs the Enactus Canada Alumni Association chapter in Nova Scotia, his home province. Not only will starting this important group be personally rewarding, but it will help with the sustainability of the Enactus program itself since the alumni group will naturally become a source of volunteers and supporters for the organization both locally and across the country.
3. Connect with and advise a team in your area
One of the single biggest opportunities you have as an alum is to engage with a local team and help them realize their potential. Whether it be helping with team structure, advising on a particular initiative, or making connections in the community, you will be a valued resource with a tangible opportunity to make a significant difference. Sharif plays an active role advising his alma mater, helping them develop their strategic plan each year. And Larin serves as a business advisor to the team at the University of Bochum. Although you will be playing a different role, you will find that working with a team in this manner is an extension of your Enactus experience as a student, something we know you will find meaningful and worthwhile.
4. Volunteer at Enactus events
All of the alumni we spoke with stay engaged with the program by volunteering at events. Some, like Djhonder and Sharif, take on significant roles in planning and executing events like the national competition, and others, like Tsholo and Larin serve important roles such as judges and league coordinators in competition. From local leadership training, to regional and national competitions, to even the World Cup, there is no shortage of opportunities to get involved. Djhonder served as Social Ambassador during this year’s Enactus Philippines National Competition, providing timely and relevant social media updates throughout the event, effectively engaging supporters both near and far. Your experience in and knowledge of the program makes you an ideal volunteer and it’s a great chance to reconnect with old friends as well as make new ones, so be sure to reach out to your country office to see how where you can help.
5. Find other ways to stay engaged that benefit you personally while giving you an outlet to make a difference
Just like there was no one way to address a problem you saw in your community as a student, there are no shortage of opportunities to stay involved in Enactus as an alum. Having competed in three World Cups, Tsholo uses that experience to coach the national champion team each year and help prepare them for the global competition. She also looks for opportunities to introduce the organization to potential donor companies. For Akram, as a faculty member at Dalhousie University, serving as faculty advisor to the school’s Enactus team was a no brainer. Perhaps you are a social media guru and want to offer your expertise to the country office. Or you may decide to host a showcase event at your business so they can learn more about the Enactus program and the opportunities through involvement. We know Enactus students are creative, innovative and action oriented…and our alumni are too! So find the best way for you to be involved and make it happen.
Did we miss something? Tell us in the comments how you stay or plan to stay involved as an Enactus alum!