Retaining Old Members

It’s time to wrap up this month of Recruitment and Retention!

Retaining older members is vital because they hold the history of your organization. But if you focus all of your attention on bringing in new members, you might pass up on keeping the older ones. As dedicated as a SWE member may be, they won’t stay if your offerings no longer apply to them.

Help Them Find A Job

Juniors and seniors are increasingly anxious about finding a job after graduation. (I know I am.) The great thing about SWE is that it’s a professional society, so helping members with their careers should be a big priority.

Host a Career Panel. Invite employers from the Career Fair to have Q&A sessions about a variety of topics. You could have a resume writing and interviewing session, an internship session, a graduate school session, and a full-time job session. This way, there’s something for everyone. You can ask you Career Center for ideas for great speakers. They have super-involved alumni on their Corporate Advisory Board that would be thrilled to help! Or, you could ask some recent SWE alumni. They’d be thrilled to come back to visit.

Another successful event is corporate networking. Invite representatives from local companies to network with SWE members. Provide snack food. Make sure there’s not a lot of chairs in the room, so that everyone needs to keep moving. This could also be a recruitment tool, if students need to be SWE members to attend.

Take Them To Conferences

Maintain your leadership pipeline with conferences. Invite active sophomores and juniors to attend conferences with you, particularly if they’re not on the Executive Board. Conferences are such a great way to encourage SWE spirit.

Host Plant Tours

Take members on a technical tour of a local engineering plant. It’ll teach them about the manufacturing process and make them more excited about their career!

Make Them A Mentor

Match up high-achieving older students with freshmen in the same major. The senior can help with homework, and the freshman can keep their spirits high. Have them sit together, so if they don’t show up they know their freshman buddy will be lonely. They won’t want to let her down.

Amp Up Your Outreach

Older members are great at outreach because they’ve done many of the events before. But after a while, doing the same old outreach event year after year gets tiring. Amp it up a bit by trying something new. Try Habitat for Humanity, where you can use some of that engineering know-how in a hands-on environment.


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