This is a belated post on the event that took place two months ago, but since I have been lazy in updating the blog lately, I want to catch up on some noteworthy events and developments in my post-MBA life. There will be some other posts soon about the past events, since I had started drafting them a while back, but did not finish in a timely manner.
The last weekend of September GWU was welcoming back its alumni. The University put up a very elaborate program, spanning for four days, complete with receptions, classes, tours, food festival, and a big concert. Here is the link to complete schedule of Alumni Weekend events, if you are interested what you missed on or curious about what to expect next time around.
I wouldn’t have been able to attend every one of those four days of festivities, so I chose the Friday night Concert of Earth, Wind & Fire. Since they were rocking the stages in the 70-ies, frankly, I was not very familiar with their music before the concert. At the concert I recognized a couple of tunes, but the very atmosphere of a live concert and being in the GW alumni crowd was the most remarkable part of that experience.
There was a Kickoff party before the concert for all University alumni, but I opted for a Pre-Concert Tailgate Reception with Dean Doug Guthrie hosted by the School of Business. As one of my pals at the reception noted, GWSB is known for giving parties with good food, as compared to some other schools in the University. Since I had not been to any outside the School of Business, I took his word for that.
Apart from nice hors d’oeuvres the most interesting part, of course, was meeting the alumni of the school. Frankly, I expected there would be many more people at the reception, but, for whatever reason, Business School alumni are not very outgoing for this kind of events. Still, I was able to strike about half a dozen conversations with the school graduates ranging from 1972 to 2012 graduation years and geographical span from Florida to Massachusetts. I got a chance to meet some very interesting people and hear a couple quite amazing personal stories.
As for the Zero Year Reunion, I got a chance to see a grand total of TWO former part-time MBA classmates. Additionally, a saw two more current MBA students who I met while at school through various venues. I really wish there were a bigger turnout at such events.
But the issue of the turnout is not specific only to GWSB within the University. This year, as a matter of fact, was the biggest turnout of GW graduates since the Alumni Weekends started in 2005 – 2800 alumni. And even though it was a record breaking number of attendants, it represented only about 1/10 of one percent of 250,000 live GW alumni, many of whom, I guess, live in a close proximity to Washington, DC. To get this in perspective, the mass mailings to reasonably qualified lists of recipients may, reportedly, produce between 0.5-2% response rate. So there is still a great room for growth for Alumni Relations office at GWU.
And the reason I put this post on the blog even belatedly is that I hope to inspire all GWSB and GW alumni to come out to the next Alumni Weekend with greater force. It is a lot of fun, and I will be happy to catch up with all of you. Whether you see it as a networking opportunity or a chance to hang out and have fun – it’s worth it.
And just to whet your appetite a bit more, here is another report on the Alumni Weekend published by the GW Student newspaper.