It was a first for the Business School but the success of the EMBA & MBA Alumni Dinner on Friday, 23 June could make it the first of many.
Under the glowing lights of the grand and historic Great Hall, alumni of the University’s Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs came together to reconnect and make new connections.
As one attendee, marketing consultant Angela Catalan, said, “It gave me a strong sense of how much I've grown as a person since the I started my MBA journey.”
With alumni there from around Australia and the world, the role of host was taken by the Business School Dean, Professor Leisa Sargent, while Program Director, Guy Ford, acted as master of ceremonies.
There was a strong sense of celebration in the room, but the event was also an opportunity for the University to remind attendees of how it too wanted to stay connected with them through a number of ongoing programs.
For example, EMBA & MBA alumni have lifetime access to a variety of the MBA Careers Services and Corporate Engagement resources, including access to the USYD MBA Careers Team for career coaching, specifically designed professional development workshops and invitations to all careers and alumni corporate and industry events.
Those wanting a higher level of engagement can teach in the part time and full time MBA programs or share their knowledge and experience as guest speakers, on discussion panels or become coaches in a Capstone unit of study where students plan and execute a substantial research-based project.
In a world of unending disruption and technological advance, the guest speaker for the night was influential author, philanthropist, and conservationist, Robert McLean. Blending a deep knowledge of large company management with his interest in philosophy, McLean addressed a skill needed by just about everyone in the Great Hall that night: problem solving.
Hearing Robert McLean talk about leveraging the experience of others to navigate the world both personally and professionally, underscored for me how important alumni events are for re-establishing relationships.
It wasn’t just the alumni who were revelling in the sense of camaraderie and reminiscence that night. The Dean and Program Director were joined by other Business School staff who found themselves swept up in the mood and thrilled to hear the stories of how the alumni had taken their MBAs and EMBAs out into the world.
With speeches made, dinner served and connections made, it was time for old and new friends to take themselves onto the dance floor.
Summing up the feelings of everyone there that night was alumni and Senior Web Services Program Manager, Hemanth Pasupuleti, “Alumni events like these reinforce the sense of belonging to a family. That was the single biggest takeaway for me.”
Written by George Dodd.