Tips for Capturing the Best Alumni Story

Sharing alumni stories on your website is a great way to provide content your target audience is interested in, which helps you drive engagement across your digital platforms. Your alumni stories should profile notable alumni and their achievements in a way that connects their current life to the time they spent in your school district.

To craft the most interesting alumni story, it’s important to interview the alum and have some thought-provoking questions for them. After you cover the basics (professional journey, current career and accomplishments, family, other general background topics), here are a few examples of some of the questions you should ask to get the best story and to approach the article from the perspective of your school and alumni association.

How did your time at [your school] influence you in your life?

Questions like this help you to establish a connection between your school and the accomplishments of your alumnus. You’re particularly looking for certain skills they learned in school that they took with them, or a mindset they gained that helped make them a success.

Did you have any teachers or coaches who influenced you?

This question helps you probe a bit deeper than the prior question. It’s always interesting to hear stories about particular individuals within the school that left the largest impact on a person, even into their adult life. It shows the power that these people have to shape and change lives, and for your purposes as an alumni association, it also helps to build school spirit to profile not just your successful alumni, but the staff within the school who helped mold them.

What was your favorite thing about attending school at [your school]?

With this question you can allow the alum to spend a bit of time reminiscing and getting nostalgic. Keep this open ended and see what first comes to mind, then ask follow up questions to get some specific stories or experiences you can add to the narrative of your story.

What advice would you give to current or future students?

This is a great way to wrap up your alumni story. After you’ve discussed your chosen alum’s journey and successes, look to the future, and encourage them to provide advice to current or future students. This advice can be about anything--education and academics, social life, work ethic, etc. But it’s a great final way to tie your alum’s present success back to your school.

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