Students and new graduates might be more important to your association than you think.

According to the Community Brands Member Engagement and Loyalty Study, 22 percent of members of professional organizations join as a student. Another 13 percent join after graduating and before taking their first job.

This group represents the future of your association. Becoming a part of their career journey before their careers even get going is a great way to not only increase membership, but also keep them around for the long haul.

So, how can you provide value to attract and retain this group of students and new graduates? Here are some ideas:

Offer financial help – Price can be a barrier to joining an association, especially for students and new graduates. Consider offering reduced pricing on membership dues for students and new grads. Also, consider offering a budget-friendly monthly payment option.

Provide an internship board – Students and new grads are often kicking off their careers with internships in their professional field. Help them out by offering an internship board to connect them with employers that have internship opportunities.

For example, YM Careers InternBoard can be fully integrated with your online career center, or you can create a stand-alone intern board. With a YM Careers InternBoard, internship seekers can easily create their own accounts and profiles. They can add resumes and cover letters. They can search internship postings and apply directly within the job board or externally by following employers’ instructions. They can even set up alerts to be notified when a new well-matched position is posted.

Provide a mentor board – Another thing students and new grads often seek is a mentor to help them grow professionally as they enter the workforce. You can support them by offering a mentor board to connect them with seasoned professionals who seek to help those who are early in their careers.

Using YM Careers MentorBoard, you can give students and graduates the ability to set up their own accounts and profiles with all information needed to qualify them as a “mentee”. They can then search user profiles and initiate contact with a potential mentor.

Offer training and certification opportunities – As students and new grads look to grow professionally, they will be looking for ways to become more attractive in the job market. Using YM Careers with Crowd Wisdom learning management system, you can recommend learning courses to them that will help them become more qualified for specific job opportunities.

Help build a career path – A great way to support students and new grads is to help them build a clear roadmap to reach their professional goals. Career Journey can help you do just that. It’s an online tool that lets you give your members the ability to map out their career path based on the job they want. It gives them a well-defined path to get there, including the skills, learning, and job titles they need to reach their goals.

With the right career center technology and approaches, you can deliver member experiences that attract and retain students and new graduates – the future of your association.

Learn more about how YM Careers can help you recruit and retain students and new grads: Explore YM Careers.

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