Over 150 alumni, staff and students joined us in the Business School in person, as well as an online audience joining from around the world. Feedback collected on the day and since has been overwhelmingly positive, and there was a great buzz around the School.
The event commenced with a welcome and update from Dean, Professor Wendy Loretto (BCom 1990) where she recognised the value of alumni involvement in the student experience and highlighted that this is much stronger than in many other business schools she has visited during her time as Dean.
Spheres of influence
This led into the first session with Dr Sarah Ivory (PhD 2014), Senior Lecturer in Executive Education, hosting a conversation with alumna Dr Poonam Malik (MBA 2017), (pictured above). Lots of food for thought, from spheres of influence to different types of persuasion (demonstrated by cupcakes!) and non-linear career paths.
This was followed by two alumni panel discussions.
Allyship and entrepreneurialism panels
The first panel’s theme was allyship which Dr Tom Calvard hosted as the School’s new EDI Director. He was joined by Vivian Maeda (MBA 2010), Relationship Manager, Business in the Community Scotland; Fiona Hay (MSc International HRM 2018), HR Partner, Publicis Media; Nanjika Nasiiro (MBA 2009), Race Equality Champion, Scottish Government; and joining online from Wisconsin in the US, Carrie Estrella (MBA 2001), Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Manager for Kohler Co.
Discussion included the role of affinity groups, also called business resource groups in organisations led by employees (rather than top-down), the importance of interrogating data to ensure equity, and the need to combine allyship with recruitment policies. Each of these demonstrated the importance of viewing allyship as part of a wider EDI strategy and that ‘organisations are made richer by embracing diversity of thought’.
The second panel included four of our alumni entrepreneurs for a conversation on impact through entrepreneurialism, hosted by Dr Jo Young, Director of Electv. She was joined by Farai Munjoma (MSc 2021), Founder and CEO of Shasha Network; Steve Erbrick (MBA 2020), Co-founder and Director of Bikerbnb; Jack McMillan, (MA 2019), Enterprise Officer at Edinburgh Innovations; and joining online, Víctor Pérez Prieto (MSc 2021), CEO and Co-founder of Carbon Glance.
Each of them shared their stories, what success looks like to them, tips for growing your company ‘Build a company around a tribe’ (Farai), the importance of learning from your mistakes, and advice for current students ‘university is one of the best places to test your business idea’ (Jack), and ‘believe in what you do’ (Víctor).
TED speaker, writer and broadcaster, Carl Honoré (MA 1990) closed the day with an energetic keynote speech with a call to action around positive ageing.
There’s never been a better time in history to be ageing, the future is multi-generational.
Drawing on the latest research and on case studies from around the world, he demonstrated how organisations can thrive by embracing older staff and what we can all do to redefine ageing for the 21st century.
Prior to Global Alumni Day, Carl recorded a podcast episode to be released shortly with our Dean, Professor Wendy Loretto and fellow alum Lee Ann Panglea (BCom 1995), Head of CIPD Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Thank you to all those who joined us on the day. It was fantastic to see lots of current students coming along to join us, as well as alumni we have not seen in some time.
As part of the event, we welcomed back the Class of 2013 MSc International Business and Emerging Markets who were holding their 10 year reunion at the event.
Allyship panel member, Fiona Hay, also met with some of our HRM and International HRM students earlier in the day for a career lounge, where she shared her experience since graduation and advice for securing work in this area.
If you are interested in volunteering to share your career experiences with students, contact the Alumni Team on email@example.com
Event photos and recordings
View more photos from the day.
Recordings are available to alumni. Please contact the Business School Alumni Team with your name, programme and year of graduation if you are interested in receiving links to the recordings.