SBS Alumni Reunion Held in Beijing July 2010
On 18 July 2010, Sydney Business School sponsored alumni reunion events in Beijing China. In attendance and representing SBS was the executive dean, John Glynn and A/Prof Gary Noble. Also in attendance and representing the University of Wollongong was Emily Zeng from the Office of Corporate Relations.
The event was held at the award winning In and Out restaurant and by all accounts was a warm, welcoming and worthwhile affair for those in attendance.
Below are some thoughts about the event from A/Prof Gary Noble.
“As someone who had not been to an SBS China alumni event what struck me first was how welcoming everyone was. There were several people there, including myself, who were new to the SBS alumni group and I was really impressed how the 'older' members of the group quickly moved to have newer members join in to discussions and introduced them around to everyone. What also struck me was the effort people had made to attend the alumni event, in conversation with different people in the room the alumni event was clearly something they had been looking forward to for some time and they had happily given up their Sunday afternoon with family and friends to attend. One Alumni member, a first time attendee, had travelled by train from Dalian just for the alumni lunch.
The other thing that struck me immediately was how well the SBS alumni had become a networking group. Business cards were being exchanged all through the event and when you talked to different people it was abundantly clear that the alumni group and its network was responsible for their job! People would tell me they were working at GE Healthcare in charge of the logistics management of GE's medical imaging equipment division across SE Asia with one of their former class mates who also worked at GE Healthcare and had got them the job. This story became evident more and more as you talked to different people - another example was that five of those present all worked at Lenova and all were working there because of the network of contacts developed through the SBS alumni.
I was also impressed at how the former students had risen through their organisations management ranks. One alumni I spoke to was an account manager at the Beijing office of a leading global advertising agency just two years after graduating. It was quite clear these alumni were on the fast track through their organisations.
Of the actual event - The event went smoothly. The highlight of the actual lunch was when the guest speaker ran a sort of 'can you name the place' game by bringing back memories of the alumnists time in Wollongong and at the Sydney campus by showing photos of different places and experiences ranging from the Harbour Bridge to the City Mall in Wollongong. The one that got the most laughter was when they showed a shopping basket of 'Home Brand' goods and you had to name the supermarket chain. Obviously, their experiences as students shopping at Woolworths and buying only Home Brand products was common to all of the alumni clearly brought back fond memories of their student years.
The SBS alumni in Beijing is a growing group and was of benefit to those that attended not only by renewing friendships but by also offering the opportunity for networking. It was also important for UOW as each of the alumnisits there had enjoyed their time with SBS and were, reinforcing the SBS name in Beijing and promoting the Business School by word of mouth to other potential students - they were all great ambassadors for SBS and UOW”.