Alumni Affairs Update

Published: June 7, 2008
By Tracey Pavlishin, '06, Senior Director, Alumni Affairs and Events

Tracey Pavlishin; Senior Director, Alumni Affairs and EventsMaking Sense of the 2007 Alumni Survey

When it comes to alumni, 71 percent strongly recommend Chicago Booth to others, and 91 percent are confident money donated to the GSB will be well spent.

Those two statistics come from the 2007 Alumni Survey, a list of 32 questions sent to every GSB alumnus to measure your perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. More than 4,000 of you—14 percent—responded, both online and through the mail. Thanks to all of you who took the time to share your thoughts. Importantly, the results have been weighted so that the respondents represent the whole alumni population.

Although I’m writing this column at the start of spring, by the time you read it, staff at the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development will have spent the summer poring over the wealth of data to develop an alumni engagement plan in response to your feedback. Our goal was to evaluate our current offerings, gauge alumni perceptions, ascertain the link between those who participate and those who give to the school, and compare our findings to the 2004 survey.

I am delighted to share with you a sample of what we learned, from our many strengths to the opportunities we discovered to serve our alumni even better—and how together we can strengthen the network. In fact, several initiatives are already underway.

You can read the key findings online, but below are some of the initial results as well as the action plan we’re developing to respond to your needs.

Chicago Booth has more than 41,000 alumni around the world. Even when our alumni offer differing opinions, there is a place for each opinion and a place for every graduate to be involved in the GSB community. Everyone can contribute to and benefit from the network, which will keep us moving forward together. In fact, it will make our strong Chicago Booth community stronger yet.

One area where the school has made inroads is in developing the alumni network. According to the Alumni Survey, 68 percent believe the alumni network is strong—and growing stronger. From the Alumni Survey we know the alumni connection to GSB programs is strong, but our network could easily be strengthened by having more person-to-person connections. Our vibrant alumni population around the world is achieving great success; strengthening the alumni network multiplies that effect.

The alumni office is committed to developing a strategy that furthers the reputation and position of Chicago Booth. We will demonstrate how the GSB curriculum, network, and services contribute to alumni career progress. We’re concentrating our efforts on bridging connections, whether it’s alumni helping each other or alumni connecting with students. I encourage you to help build the momentum and get engaged today.

We’ve made great strides. In the areas where we can do more and better, we will. If this survey generates an idea, let me know. The more alumni become engaged, the stronger the GSB community will be.

Accomplishments Since 2004

  1. Global Leadership Series launched, bringing faculty research to alumni worldwide
  2. Full-time Class Agents established to improve student and alumni connectivity
  3. Alumni Breakfast Series established, allowing alumni to share career experience with students
  4. Launched the Community Directory, enhancing the ability to search for alumni and build your network

Action Items in Response to Alumni Feedback

After reading the responses to the survey, we’ve developed programming that specifically targets some of the needs alumni highlighted, with more in the works.

  1. Regional Activity and Professional Networking: Develop targeted networking events for alumni with shared interests, interaction with faculty, and professional development opportunities. Events will have expanded web access opportunities to reach non-Chicago and non-U.S.-based alumni.
  2. Reunions: Develop a framework to establish Class Reunions to build camaraderie and foster feelings of GSB pride.
  3. Involvement: Improve opportunities for alumni to engage and interact with both students and fellow alumni. Launch new alumni website so volunteer opportunities are easy to find. Make it easier for alumni to know exactly how they can help with admissions, career services, events, etc.
  4. Awareness: Use publications to explain and promote the value of alumni services, showcase the strength of the network, and promote alumni success stories.

We have more programming in the works, so stay tuned to find out what’s coming up at the GSB that can help you meet your own goals. For specific new program information, please visit the alumni website. If you have questions or want to provide additional feedback, please email me.


Last Updated 5/14/09