Aluminati worked closely in conjunction with the Development, Alumni Relations, Careers and Data teams at the University of Manchester to launch the Manchester Network in September 2016, which saw the migration of 80,000 members from NetCommunity.
A key element to the network was that the Advanced Managed eMentoring module allowed the University to transition their well-regarded, successful, structured mentoring programme, Manchester Gold, from an offline, paper-based system to an online system to allow for the programme to be upscaled and more easily managed, whilst maintaining the University’s ability to approve participants and manage pairings on the scheme. Manchester Gold had been established 15 years ago and involved 1-to-1 mentoring over 6 months, with two intakes across the academic year. The offline scheme grew from 120 pairings in 2007 to 600 pairings in 2016. Therefore this led to challenges of staff administration but also with student commitment. The Aluminate online platform was chosen to help address these challenges as it would allow students to initially search and select their own mentor creating more student commitment and buy-in, reducing staff time in finding matches with mentors and allowing staff to dedicate more time to mentoring training, communication and events, as well as help create more of a mentoring community and access to a wider network of mentors.
The Network also offers a general alumni directory for networking and a light touch form of mentoring called ‘Ask me about’ where members can ask others quick questions regarding careers and professional development. The University also publishes information on the platform regarding jobs and events.
Furthermore, Social Network Sync was also integrated into this Aluminate platform, allowing alumni to update their official records with the University directly and for the University to collect updated alumni social media data. The platform astonishingly led to over 20,000 alumni data updates in the first 6 months! A year on, they still receive around 500 alumni data updates a week, so the platform has significantly improved the quality of their alumni data as well as improved internal efficiencies with handling data updates.
The Manchester Network has become a key central point for Manchester alumni and students, and continues to grow from strength to strength.