Universities are brands, alumni are their best ambassadors...Five years ago, I graduated from the Osun State University.
This is one of the country’s best state universities. What I learnt there, within the classrooms and on this beautiful campus, has powerfully and indelibly shaped my thinking and my career. This is why I consider UNIOSUN the finest crucible of life.
Last month, I had the unique opportunity to return to my alma mater. A colleague brother was graduating from the same university, and I was delighted to attend his convocation. The visit was high on nostalgia and happiness, particularly when I saw how well my beloved campus had developed over the past few years.
Alumni as brand ambassadors
A very important development which struck me was UNIOSUN recently established startup scheme for its alumni. The Vice Chancellor spoke of the need to powerfully mobilise alumni, and engage them on the university’s ambitious plans. Reflecting on these developments during my drive back from the campus, two important things struck me. First, a university is a brand. Second, alumni are amongst its most potent assets, and best brand ambassadors. On both fronts, I think Nigerian universities have a long way to go – they have significant work to do in building their own brands, and in mobilising their alumni.
The fundamental driver here is that alumni, in general, greatly love the universities they have graduated from. The emotive attachment to our alma mater is typically far stronger than our attachment to any other brand in our life. When we think of the university from which we graduated, we feel emotions of pride, happiness, gratitude and nostalgia. These are the sort of emotions that any brand, in any category, would die for. And these are also lifelong emotions, which do not diminish with age – indeed, as we become older, they tend to grow on us, and we speak about our universities even more fondly.
Graduate of Computer Science