Alumni Relations 2020 – A Year in Reflection
In a year of unprecedented challenges, UOWD Alumni Relations is very proud of the fact that 2020 has been among the most diverse, energetic and memorable chapters of alumni engagement at UOWD. Faced with the unknown, we embraced the opportunity to innovate and to explore new ways to achieve our goal: to connect alumni with the University, alumni with alumni, and alumni with current students of UOWD.
Though we could not meet in person, our global alumni community came together across multiple platforms to collaborate in a wide range of events and initiatives. Through these activities, our alumni engagement reached a level that was unprecedented in its own right, and we are grateful to everyone who joined us on our journey through 2020.
Connecting and collaborating
Like any other year, our primary goal has been to connect our communities and support collaboration across different UOWD networks, but unlike any other year, we could not do this face-to-face. Instead, we united our members with faculty members, current students, and the wider business community through virtual events and expert-led webinars.
We partnered with various units across the University, with our colleagues in the Alumni Relations Team at UOW Australia and our own alumni to diversity our digital engagement offerings. We invited alumni to be guest speakers and panellists, to support programs for current students hosted by our Faculties and Schools. Our alumni participated in virtual classrooms to share their industry expertise with current students, for example at the Autumn Semester Corporate Social Responsibility Majlis and the Management, Marketing and Operations Career Forum. Additionally, prominent alumni volunteered as mentors for current students in the Professional Practice in Business and Real World Innovative Solutions to Real World Problems (WISP) program.
New initiatives for new times
The unexpected change in circumstances provided us with the inspiration to explore new ways of engaging with our networks on different platforms. This year we have introduced a number of successful new initiatives that originally emerged from necessity, but will now lay the foundations for alumni engagement activities in the future.
Our ‘Coffee Talk with the Expert Series’ was established as a collaboration between faculties, schools and alumni to bring research and practical perspectives together on relevant topics. This year’s discussions have ranged from Engineering for Change, Building Corporate Agility and Resilience, Financial Management during COVID-19, Lessons Learned and Why Media is More than just Media. To connect our alumni and students in a more informal context, 2020 also saw the launch of Social Saturday, an initiative focussing on fun and relaxed online interactions across our communities.
Among the highlights for alumni relations every year is organising the University graduation ceremonies, when we welcome new groups of members to our family. Though we could not stage the usual celebrations in 2020, we were able to honour the success and hard work of this year’s graduates in a virtual recognition initiative.
A year of alumni achievements
Each year we are delighted to discover and share the remarkable achievements of UOWD alumni network members around the world. Despite the challenges of 2020, we have seen another year of outstanding success stories. We’ve talked to Hassan Omaish about his fast-moving career as a Commercial Director based in Singapore, and recently caught up with Fatima-Azahra Jamal to discuss her work connecting communities to promote professional development through her role as Territory Director for LinkedIn. Our Alumni Success Story series, features these and many other inspiring alumni stories.