Pitching Your Business Case
Hopefully when you get to the point of pitching your business case, you will have already answered the many questions above and decided what your program should look like. But before you pitch, there are other things to consider as well. Have you identified who the sponsor will be for this new initiative? Remember that this person can also be your ambassador to help you get further internal buy-in. Use your “why” to make your business case. Once you have identified the drivers behind your program, your program stakeholders should also become clearer. Knowing your program drivers and stakeholders can also help you identify your program deliverables.
Your business case should also include information on who you are looking to help, or your audience. Will this program be focused on the legal side of the house, or will it also be open to business services professionals? If opened to both, will it be done all at once or opened to different groups in stages?
Make sure your business case aligns with your firm’s overarching objectives and leave space in your planning for evaluation and adjustment. No one could have anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic, but firms that could respond and adapt were better placed to meet the evolving needs of their constituents during this period.
Leveraging the Alumni Angle
Your firm’s alumni will be key participants in this project, and its beneficiaries. First, your alumni network can be an invaluable resource to support people considering a career transition. Alumni can provide insights on their industry, company, and/or region. They can share advice on how to transition roles successfully, including both how to land well in a new role and best practices to leave the firm in a positive manner. In the best cases, alumni may be able to help an applicant get a foot in the door for a job at their company. This can result in one of the best win-win scenarios, where the applicant feels supported and the alum has help in finding talent for their team.
It is also important to consider whether career transitions support will be offered to your alumni network. If so, ensure that you have sufficient resources in place to support this additional audience.
As with so many aspects of alumni relations, leveraging your alumni network for career transitions will come down to data. It is essential to know where and in what roles your alumni are currently working. Additional background can come in handy, such as their connections at the firm, and the office(s) and practice(s) they worked with. Lastly, find ways to determine and track which alumni are open to networking conversations or other career support functions — but ultimately keep in mind that people like to be asked to share their expertise, so never be afraid to reach out to an alum with a gentle request.