The Alumni Club Network helps keep the Wharton experience alive long after graduation. As alumni get more and more involved with School activities, the range of programs and services offered by these clubs is constantly expanding.
Below are just a few examples of the creativity — and practicality — that alumni bring to the task of organizing club events. Underlying the energy and enthusiasm illustrated by these examples is an important caveat: the Wharton Alumni Network will be vibrant and relevant only to the degree that graduates participate. If you are not already involved, contact your local club and help build the world’s strongest business school alumni network.
Wharton Alumni Clubs Are…Creating Electronic Networks
Two alumni clubs have gone online with their own web sites to keep members as up-to-date as possible with information about club events, job opportunities, member lists, School news and so forth. The two clubs are: New York (http://www.wharton-alumni-nyc.org) and Atlanta (http://www.mindspring.com/~whartonatlanta/home.htm). Over the next several months, plans are in the works for at least another half-dozen clubs to join these Wharton web pioneers.
Other clubs create distribution lists to send email reminders to their members about upcoming programs as well as keep alumni in touch with one another. The newly-established Wharton Club of the Carolinas has strengthened its fledgling organization through online surveys of the alumni marketplace and advertising of upcoming events. The Wharton Club of San Diego was the first “paperless” club when it implemented an all-electronic system of fax and email communication with members.
The School is partnering with the clubs in facilitating these communications. A list of club presidents and a schedule of events around the world are found at the Alumni Affairs homepage located on the School’s web site (http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/alumni/index.html). Check out the information about events in cities to which you are travelling on the chance that you could participate in a local club program. In addition, the “Wharton Virtual Alumni Community” is being developed to keep alums linked to one another and to the School. Be on the lookout for more details in a future edition of the magazine.
Wharton Alumni Clubs Are…Developing Career Management Programming
Career management assistance is sought by more alumni than any other service provided by the School. Our Career Development and Placement Office (CD&P) and the Office of Career Planning and Placement Services (CPPS) have a number of programs in this area, while CD&P and CPPS staff frequently go on the road to meet and discuss career options with individual alumni. CD&P staff recently met with alumni club members in Madrid, Frankfurt, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia to describe alumni services.
These programs are complemented by work some clubs are doing to help alumni in all stages of their career development. Witness the activities of The Philadelphia Club, where a team of club members meets monthly to set up skills development programs, an annual day-long career management seminar, networking events and a Career Management Resources Guide. The New York Club is about to put job opportunities on a password-protected site on its newly established web page. The Wharton Club of Washington DC publishes an annual edition of the Career Guide, which includes a directory of club members, articles on hot industries, interviewing tips, on-line resources and more.
Wharton Alumni Clubs Are…Networking with Business Leaders in Their Communities
Wharton clubs build alliances between alumni and other business leaders in their communities. They invite prominent local business and civic leaders to address club meetings and often invite members of other professional organizations or business school alumni clubs to participate in their events.
For the members of the Wharton Club of Colorado, the Denver Business Series has brought together alumni from ten of the nation’s top business schools on a quarterly basis to facilitate business and social interaction. The Wharton Club of London participated with alumni from several European and American business schools in the program “Masters in Business Leadership,” an all-day seminar that challenged participants to recognize international opportunities, foster a vision, and lead and energize a team of people. Former ambassador Robert Strauss recently met with the Wharton Club of Dallas in an event that not only drew people from all over that city, but was also carried around the country on C-SPAN. The Wharton Club in Washington DC recently held “Networking Gala XVI,” the latest in a series of social events that brings together alumni from all local chapters of business school clubs.
The School also works with alumni clubs to sponsor annual regional alumni meetings in Asia and Europe. These programs bring together alumni, prominent government and business leaders and members of the School’s faculty. The 1998 conferences will be in Taipei, Taiwan, on June 12 and 13 and in Munich, Germany, on June 25 and 26. Refer to the ad on the inside cover of the magazine for more details.
Wharton Alumni Clubs Are…Meeting with World-Class Faculty
Wharton alumni have unique access to some of the School’s most celebrated professors as they visit alumni clubs around the world. Faculty not only share their insights into critical business issues of the day, but also inform alumni about issues of strategic importance to the School. In September, Finance Professor Jeremy Siegel, rated by Business Week as the #1 business school professor in the country, spoke to groups in Seattle and San Francisco about trends in the stock market. Associate Professor of Management Harbir Singh met with alumni in Brussels to discuss “Global Leadership and Strategy.” Paul Morin, director of Wharton’s Small Business Development Center, dispensed hands-on advice while moderating a panel of local entrepreneurs in Boston. Alumni in Thailand met with Michael Useem, William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management, when he addressed a “Leadership for the Future” conference in Bangkok at the Sasin Graduate School.
Wharton Alumni Clubs Are…Interacting with Future Alumni
Wharton Clubs are ensuring the perpetuation of a strong network by involving current students — the School’s “future alumni” — in local events before graduation. The Wharton Club of Atlanta annually hosts members of the on-campus Wharton South Club for a weekend-long series of social events and discussions with prominent alumni in the area. The Northern California Club has partnered with the Wharton Technology Club to produce a winter break reception designed to introduce students to alumni currently working in Silicon Valley. All alumni clubs participate in the annual Club Day on-campus, which gives students information about the benefits of club membership and allows them to sign up with their local chapter.