Yes, we share some of the same aims with other alumni-related programmes. But we have a different focus to achieve that by introducing work-based learning through placement facilitated by alumni. Such programme is not common in university and our vision includes having higher education encourage work-based learning, and our scheme is a step in this direction.
We are often being asked about the incentives for alumni. Intrinsic values play a big part, because a good mentorship does require lots of time and effort, and young professionals are busy with their work. But there are other benefits for alumni's professional development. Firstly, their access to talent (students and the course) will help recruitment and other collaboration opportunities, thus be acknowledged and valued by their employer. Secondly, by supporting students doing research relevant to their company, they have the chance to practice and demonstrate leadership and management skills which is not often the case for young professionals. Thirdly, they gain new knowledge and fresh perspectives being involved in student's research which will become their competitive edge too. Also they help transfer knowledge from research to practice.
The user case for alumni is one of our major challenges for our scheme to make clear so please share with us if any insights or good examples. Thank you! Terje