Many students are drawn to attend universities outside of their home country, at both the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. While the school may have a great reputation internationally and be highly ranked, there is a downside and that is the absence of an alumni network in the geographic area where they want to work after graduation
Why is this important? Research has proven, time and time again, that the clear majority of jobs are found by networking and referrals. LinkedIn says 70% and other sources quote a higher number. One of the global management consultancies studied the success of new hires from a variety of sources and found that employee referrals resulted in the best hires. Employees know the organization and its culture and therefore refer those who they think will fit the environment. In addition, when someone makes a referral into their organization they are taking a risk – they are putting their reputation on the line – and will only refer high-quality candidates. There is also an element of expediency. If you are a hiring executive and have to wade through a stack of 75 resumes from an on-line posting when your colleague in the office next door stops by and says “I met a very interesting person yesterday who I think would be an excellent fit for your role” what are you going to do – slog through the resumes or follow up on the recommendation of your colleague? One of the reasons that on-line applications disappear into a black hole is that someone has managed to network themselves to the head of the que.
In addition, prospective employers may not have experience with hires from an offshore institution and are reluctant to take a risk with an unknown institution.
There are, of course, exceptions however, the breadth and depth of the alumni network should be factored into any decision about attending an offshore institute.