It is surprising to say that I completed my IT degree at QUT twenty years ago. Since that time I have completed an MBA at Deakin Unviersity, multiple certifications (ITIL, PMP etc.) and now I’m currently two thirds through a Graduate Certificate in Global Management with INSEAD. It has only been in the last 12 months that I have either thought about or leveraged my various Alumnis!
The last two weeks illustrate two perfect examples. Last Wednesday I attended a panel discussion on Leadership in Disruption. This was organised by the UK Australia Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Australia House (Australia’s High Commission / Embassy) in London. The invite was provided by Deakin’s UK Alumni; an Alumni I have been very active with over the last twelve months.
Three days later I’m in Paris with my wife attending her 20 year re-union organised by the American University of Paris Alumni. We spent the long weekend attending panel sessions, get togethers, a gala dinner and ultimately meeting and catching-up with former class mates and friends. We had a ball and learned a tonne!
The events in the last week have made me again realise the benefits of leveraging my Alumni. For example, while at Australia House I met the QUT Alumni co-ordinator and am now part of the QUT’s London Alumni Group. Furthermore I am volunteering my time to help this group in co-ordinating future events. Deakin’s London Alumni is very active as we meet every two – three months. Our next event is a dinner cruise down the Thames. When I finish my Graduate Certificate in Global Management with INSEAD in 2019 I will be eligible to join and leverage their Alumni.
I have been fortunate with my career over the last twenty years. The roles I have taken have allowed me to travel the world and gain exposure across multiple industries and countries; it has been a privilege. This has been all achieved without using my Alumni. Although I don’t look back in regret I realise I could have leveraged my various Alumni groups better and to my advantage.
Alumni groups typically come with a strong and proactive network base; in my opinion people who are motivated to meet others, share knowledge and help their fellow alumnus where possible. Furthermore the many events that are put on open up doors and provide opportunities that may not always be available. I think about the people I have met and ideas discussed and am always invigorated to act! Today’s working environment is a culmination of disruption and rapid change. Therefore meeting new people, gaining new ideas and developing new strategies is more important than ever. It is time for you to re-establish your connection to your Alumni!