Developing the Metropolia Alumni Relations Program
- Publisher: Metropolia Ammattikorkeakoulu
The target of this Master's Thesis was to create a practical plan to further develop the alumni relations program at Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. The plan will act as a guide for the program on how to reach and engage Metropolia's students and alumni in order to create a sustainable and active alumni relations program. Special attention was given to the international students and alumni, which is an understandable approach from the global perspective as many of the Metropolia graduates find employment at some point of their careers from abroad and the Master's programme itself is international in nature.
As an organization, Metropolia alumni relations program is quite new, just like its host. Since Metropolia is the largest university of applied sciences in Finland with 16 500 students and 67 degree programs, the institution has an extremely diverse membership and this membership will also be the target audience of the alumni relations program.
The theoretical framework of the study was based on service marketing theories. Service marketing is about promises made and kept to customers. It differs from traditional marketing due to the nature of the product; services offered are heterogeneous and perishable. Alumni activities are such intangible services. This study focused on two particular service marketing strategies, namely communications-based marketing model and the strategy gaps model of service quality.
The study resulted in a practical plan, which suggests ways for the alumni relations program to gain the attention of the students and alumni and hence for the program to evolve into an active and sustainable one. The plan suggests a marketing strategy to get new students involved in creating a Metropolia "spirit" from day one through the alumni relations program. It also offers suggestions on funding the alumni activities. The plan also gives suggestions on how to activate those, who have graduated from the institution or its predecessors.