by Fabiana Papastefani
As AISB Alumni Coordinator, a major focus in what I do revolves around Alumni events at AISB, supporting the current AISB Students & Parents. On May 2019 we had our last two big events of the 2018-2019 school year: “Seniors Brunch”, a casual meeting with our seniors who had just finished their IB exams, and “Letting Go”, with the parents of the Seniors, who graduated last June and are soon starting the next chapter of their lives in various universities/countries.
After finishing their exams in May, the Alumni Association treated last year’s graduating class with a “Seniors Brunch” where we introduce them to the Alumni network, who we are and what we aim to do. We spoke together about what their short-term and long-term vision and expectations about the alumni association is and how they can get support and be engaged in this important group.
What do they need? Will they know how to shop and cook? Will they know how to do laundry, manage their finances, take good care of themselves? With “Letting Go” we brought reassurance and advice from Alumni parents who share tips and insight on various aspects of a graduate’s life in different circumstances and countries, while legitimizing and offering an understanding environment of “we have been there, we know how you feel, it is absolutely normal, support your child and all is going to be OK”. The presentation we sent to parents was a culmination of practical and detailed tips that they all appreciated. We closed the event with a special note on the importance of the mental & emotional health of these students while they manage their life all by themselves away from home, mentioning that the Alumni Association does it’s best to offer connection and support from older students either at the same university or in the area, alongside the professional services offered by the Student Support departments of these universities.
Earlier last year we had two other important events: Career Speed Networking is now one of the most anticipated Alumni events. The audience is Grade 10, before they start the process of IB course selection. In February, 2019 we invited 10 specialists from various careers to speak with the students on a variety of opportunities, their studies, training, as well as the challenges and successes that they had encountered. Students had the opportunity to learn a lot more about various options after graduation, even on the ones they were not initially interested in and had the opportunity to ask many questions. The statistics at the end of the event were interesting: more than 50% of the interviewed students did not change their mind on what they would like to do in life, about 20% of the students said they may reconsider their career choice, and the rest of the students, who said they had not yet identified a particular field of interest, said they found some very good ideas on what they might like to do.
Alumni also played a small role at the University Application Event hosted by the Secondary Counselors in January, 2019. We had five of our alumni in various areas of the world share their experience on how they started and narrowed down their selection process, how their experiences match their initial plans and choices, and some tips about the area where they live. Grade 11 students were very interested and we are so glad we can offer this service to them!
These events are now becoming a regular part of the school year, so stay posted for upcoming dates.
Should you find yourself in Bucharest, or in a position to support students through life transitions, career, or other means, please contact me, The AISB Alumni Coordinator at: email@example.com
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