Why do alumni get involved?

19 November 2014

Why do alumni get involved?

Across the world our alumni choose to get involved in the alumni community: some do so because it is a fantastic way to expand their networks; others to share their knowledge and support current and future programme members.

 

Henley Business School’s global network of 66,000 alumni is one of its key strengths.

Across the world our alumni choose to get involved in the alumni community: some do so because it is a fantastic way to expand their networks; others to share their knowledge and support current and future programme members.

For example at the inaugural Alumni & Student Mixer on 6 November 2014, alumni and students gathered at 3M in Bracknell, near Reading. The event gave alumni the opportunity to share their own experience with the next generation of Henley graduates.  This event in particular was only made possible through the support of Henley MBA Programme Member Sean Appleton, who facilitated 3M’s sponsorship of the event. Other alumni choose to get involved through sponsoring a Business Project, mentoring students, or leading an international group or association committee.

So why do alumni choose to give back? Alumninews spoke to two alumni to find out their perspective:

 

Ray Atkinson, Chair of the Leadership of Organisational Change Special Interest Group

“I decided to become involved in the Leadership of Organisational Change Special Interest Group (LOC SIG) for two reasons: firstly, as someone who has benefited greatly from the Henley MBA, I wanted to re-establish contact and ‘give something back’. Secondly, Organisational Change is my specialist field and I wanted to network with like-minded people, to gain new insights and test ideas.

In terms of leading the SIG I have been fortunate to be part of a very enthusiastic Working Group, with good ideas for designing SIG events that complement Henley’s own contribution in this field.

During my time chairing the group I have greatly expanded my own network and gained new insights from the Alumni and our SIG presenters. After several years absence it has also put me back ‘in touch’ with the Business School, which I feel part of again.”

Ray Atkinson is Owner & Managing Director of The Wadenhoe Consultancy Ltd. an international leadership and organization development consultancy. Prior to this, he worked in a variety of senior General Management and HR roles with three leading organizations in the engineering sector. Having travelled and worked extensively across the world, Ray has gained broad and deep cross-cultural experience. He has facilitated and delivered large-scale, strategic leadership and organization development programmes in partnership with clients and leading academic institutions throughout Europe and the U.S.A.

Ray's academic background in Human Resources is complemented by an MBA from Henley. In addition, he is a Graduate in Speech and Drama from the Royal Academy of Music, which is used to great advantage in much of the behavioural development side of his work.

 

Lesley Zhang, Alumni Question Time Panel Member

“I saw UoR’s Enhancement Week advertised on the London tube one day and was wondering what it was about. In the following week, the Alumni Relations team invited me to sit on a panel of alumni speakers during the week. As an international student, I always appreciate the support and advice offered by the Henley alumni and thought I should take this chance to play my part.

The experience of being on the panel was rather enjoyable – we were so close to students that it seems we were already friends. I reflected on my life-changing journey with Henley and shared how I solved issues such as time management. Hopefully my advice will be helpful for current students.”

Being passionate about music and creative sectors, Lesley Zhang left her job at Fortune 500 Company in Asia Pacific and chose the Henley MBA to transform her career. Aiming to introduce great music and best practices to China, Lesley and her business partners are building the China Centre for Music and facilitating collaboration between UK and China in the musical field. In addition, she co-founded fashion tech start-up Rentez-Vous, promoting sustainable consumption among peers, and was recognised as talented graduate entrepreneur by UK Gov.

 

To find out how you could volunteer, whether for a special interest group, international association, or by becoming an alumni ambassador, please visit our website.

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If you have any questions, please contact the Alumni & Development Team by email at alumni@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)1491 418 843.