Our trip to Singapore was not only a way to understand how business was done through company visits, but also through an alumni event with current and former GGSB students organized by our program director Marie-France. It was very interesting for us to be able to meet people that were part of the same Master than us, and see where they are now and if their studies helped them get to where they are now.
In order to make it less formal, our program director booked a wine tasting place for the evening, offering us drinks and food the whole evening and putting us in a very comfortable environment to easily socialize. We all had different expectations when walking towards the meeting place, but I think that we all were satisfied when leaving at the end of the evening.
There were more former alumni than what we expected, allowing us to be more personal in our approaches, not going to an alumni by groups of 5. It was very convivial, and the people present were all ready to share their experience and hear what others have to say. Moreover, not all of them knew each other. They were from different intakes and all living in the same city without knowing each other. Thus, when it comes to networking, it was not only useful for us, but also for them. It was for most of us the first alumni event we ever attended, and we didn’t really know how it would go and how we should behave. But the atmosphere was friendly enough for us to be comfortable and meet everyone.
However, this was not the only alumni event that we had during this period. We were organizing one in Grenoble too, that took place in school two days after we came back from our business trip.
The main difference with this one is that we, coupled with the Innovation, Strategy and Entrepreneurship class, were the hosts. We had to present ourselves and our program to them, our projects, and had to take care of them. It was a different format, but also a very interesting one. Our program director also booked a place for some wine tasting so we could meet with the alumni in a more informal way after the presentations.
The difference between the two events is that the alumni that we met in Singapore were not all from the same program as ours, and graduated a few years ago, whereas the ones that we met in Grenoble were all from one of the two programs and graduated a year ago. We therefore had two different perspectives on our future, a short-term one, to see if opportunities were available straight after the end of our year, and a more long-term one to see where it can lead us in a few years. However, it was in both cases very useful in terms of networking and learning. The alumni had no taboos when talking to us, sharing their mistakes and successes, giving us tips and advices on how to organize our future, choose our path. It really made us realize that we were doing much more than a simple Master in Business Development. We are part of something bigger, comparable to a global family that takes care of its members, whoever they are and wherever they come from. It is reassuring to know that wherever you go, you will have someone there able to help you thanks to this international family that grows bigger and bigger.
There was a sense of pride at the end of both meetings, and we will be sure to contribute to the growth of this family once our year is over.