We had had a full calendar of exciting MBA alumni events planned for 2020, which we were really looking forward to hosting. As the unprecedented shockwaves of the novel coronavirus grew to pandemic proportion, we had to adapt our plans accordingly; thus, inspiring a new format for the alumni club – our first virtual networking event.
Each year, like other IMD clubs across the world, the UK alumni club hosts an event to welcome graduates from the most recent MBA class to the UK. This annual celebration is an opportunity for the graduates to become familiar with alumni in their new country and for us to introduce ourselves and the club to them, whilst also catching up with our established network.
In previous years, we’ve held the event at some of London’s most prestigious venues, so this year’s virtual event was quite different! Having said that, the most integral ethos of our group – our strong sense of camaraderie – was upheld, with everyone in high spirits and embracing the novelty of our virtual event.
The UK alumni club has, over the years, fostered an array of meaningful partnerships and opportunities; and this event was no exception. A notable highlight was the connections made on “the future of mobility” between four alumni from three different classes who all have ventures and connections in the field. This, and other conversations, sparked numerous proposals to put each other in touch with relevant contacts, as well as initiatives to continue discussions offline.
We believe that interactions like these demonstrate the power of our community to endure as a productive and meaningful network, even during difficult circumstances. This proves once again, that even in these fragile times and as we all are being subject to what could be the “new normal” way of life, our network remains our biggest strength.
IMD’s small class size – relative to other business schools – contributes to an extremely close and dedicated community. As a further testimony to this, we were delighted to have alumni in attendance from the class of 2001 through to the class of 2019 for our virtual event. At a time when individuals and businesses are facing unprecedented challenges, our network provides the support and a platform to share best practices.
Overall, the event was a great success; with lots of inspirational camaraderie, conversations and ideas. We are very grateful to all those who participated and look forward to hosting many more.
We wish everyone health and safety during this challenging time. Let’s stick together, in isolation.
If you are an IMD MBA alumni in the UK, please e-mail [email protected] to join the club.
Neha Kabra and Sophie Spillard (IMD MBA 2016)