40 Alumni Panel Questions to Inspire Current and Prospective Students

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An Alumni Panel is a great way for prospective and current students to hear from a small group of graduates about their various stories: their decision to apply, their experiences on campus, and their reflections since graduation.

So, given that an alumni panel can have essentially two different objectives (promote the school experience and/or provide career advice for life after graduation), here are my top 40 potential alumni panel questions. You will not ask them all, but perhaps they might provide some inspiration as you develop your own list.

alumni panel questions
Generally speaking, I like to follow this flow to sequence the questions from strategic to tactical:

Alumni Panel Questions

  1. What is your current position and how did [the school] prepare you for your career?
  2. What skills or knowledge did you learn throughout the program that you found most useful in your career?
  3. How did your experience at [the school] help you find your first position after graduation?
  4. What are you most proud of from your [school] experience?
  5. What is something at [the school] that you absolutely loved being a part of?
  6. What is something you didn’t like about your [school] experience?

Benefits/Consequences

  1. How did your time at [the school] help to prepare/impact you for your current career, activities, friends, etc.?
  2. Was your [school] experience worth the price?
  3. If you had it to do all over again, what would you do differently?
  4. What do you know now that you wish you knew during your time at [the school]?

Alumni Panel Questions that Beg for Specifics

Academics:

  1. Did you know what you wanted to study/focus on academically?
  2. What kind of flexibility did you find in the academic options at [the school]?
  3. How much time per week did you spend studying?
  4. To what extent did assignments prepare you for exams?
  5. How much personal attention did you receive from faculty members?
  6. How much interaction did you have with other students?
  7. How much group work was required?
  8. Were the available class times conducive to your schedule?
  9. Which classes do you recommend taking and why?
  10. What were your favorite classes and why?
  11. Which classes were most difficult and why?
  12. Which professors do you recommend and why?
  13. Which professors should I avoid and why?

Campus Life:

  1. What did you think of the dorms and the campus?
  2. What extracurricular activities did you participate in and why? How did your involvement in these activities help you in your post-college paths?
  3. How did [the school’s] location and resources affect your college experience?
  4. Social life—How easy was it to meet and connect with others?
  5. How’s the food?
  6. Did you feel safe at [the school]?
  7. Did you feel the students were competitive?
  8. How did campus life shape your career path?

Career Aspirations:

  1. Did the curriculum prepare you for your first/next/current job?
  2. What do employers look for in new graduates from [the school]?
  3. While at [the school], did you have any idea that your current job existed?
  4. What sort of career services were available?
  5. Based on what you know now, would you pick the same career path?

Questions about Application to the Audience

  1. If I decided to attend [this school] what advice would you give me?
  2. What do you wish you would have known your first day of school?
  3. What advice do you have for students as they look for future careers or future programs to apply to?
  4. What do you know now that you wish you knew during your time at [the school]?
  5. How would you advise me to plan for my future?

A big thank you to Penn Alumni Association and Georgetown University for inspiration in building this list of great questions for any kind of alumni panel discussion!

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For more information about how to moderate a lively & informative alumni panel discussion, check out our free 7-part video series on how to moderate a panel and other resources to help you organize, moderate, or be a panel member.

Photo by Sam Balye on Unsplash

Kristin ArnoldKristin Arnold
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF | Master, high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator is on a quest to make all panel discussions lively and informative. Check out her free 7-part video series on how to moderate a panel and other resources to help you organize, moderate, or be a panel member. www.PowerfulPanels.com

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