To mark the School's 100-year anniversary, over the past year we have researched the stories of some of our inspiring alumni from across the decades. We've looked at how the School has changed over that time, both in terms of our approach to teaching in an ever-changing business world, and how we continually develop the way we support our students.
Whether your affinity lies with the early departments of Accounting and Business Method or Business Studies, the Management School, or our current entity—the University of Edinburgh Business School—you are all part of the network of over 16,800 alumni around the world.
This community is more diverse, vibrant, and active than it has ever been, made up of well-connected, engaged individuals who support our vision of 'doing business better'.
To ensure connections with alumni in your area, we are continually growing the number of international alumni groups. We are grateful to all of the Regional Group Leads who volunteer their time to bring a little bit of Edinburgh and the Business School to their part of the world.
Events over the past year have included well-attended gatherings in both Shanghai and Beijing in June 2019, autumn events in Toronto, Berlin, Washington, Tokyo and Frankfurt, a formal London reception in October, plus regional events in Manchester and Bristol for the first time.
Our students become part of this vibrant community as soon as they start their studies, with lots of opportunities to learn from alumni returning as guest speakers or panel members, or hosting company visits.
Our new 100 Second Pitch competition was created to develop students' public speaking, presentation, and pitching skills. Using a mix of alumni expertise and innovative virtual reality technology, the opening skills development event in October was hosted by New York-based alumna Gillian Gorman Round (BCom 1999). With a total of 10 alumni judges, jointly running a variety of skills sessions, this is a wonderful example of how alumni can truly enhance the student experience.
Widening access to education and enhancing our student experience and wellbeing are of vital importance to the School. To mark our 100th anniversary year we have launched a new giving fund to support our students' personal and professional development and wellbeing. These opportunities will develop their confidence, self-awareness, and curiosity, and will be wide-ranging and open to all, reflecting our commitment to inclusion.
The School has also established new scholarships to help remove the financial barriers to education for students across the world, but we can always do more. I hope you might consider supporting our students through these initiatives; to find out how to get involved, see our Support Us pages or contact Susie Bass, Philanthropy Manager.
Finally, we're pleased to announced the formation of our Alumni Steering Group, chaired by Asanka de Silva (MBA 2010). Our alumni network already provides students with access to some of the most well-known companies around the world and the aim of this steering group is to provide an even closer link to industry to further improve a smooth transition into the workplace.
With a representative on the School's International Advisory Board, it also provides the opportunity for all of you to help steer the strategic direction of the School. We will be in touch soon to let you know how you can have your voice heard.
With our Alumni 100 Weekend now a special online conference on Friday 15 May, we look forward to engaging with many of you wherever you are in the world. We will be asking a number of our Alumni 100 to be part of this conference and will be celebrating the great work that they are involved in and the impact they are making. We do hope you will be able to join us.
To get involved in the alumni community and to support our students, contact our Alumni Team on firstname.lastname@example.org.