Global Chapters Update from the Alumni Advisory Board

May 1, 2020

The Global Chapters Committee is pleased to welcome SOM’s 55th alumni chapter in Colombia. Currently, there are 33 SOM international alumni chapters and 22 alumni chapters within the U.S. Our committee has clustered our 55 global chapters into 7 global regions with an alumni liaison assigned to work with a group of chapter leaders in each geographical region. We are grateful to all the dedicated alumni who serve as chapter leaders, working with our committee and the Alumni Relations office to connect alumni, build annual plans, and host events. In ordinary times when we’re not all “social distancing,” some examples of these are small group lunches, alumni speakers, theater events, workplace events, watching “the game”, and connecting with other Yale groups to co-host events. In the current COVID-19 environment, the Global Chapters Committee and Alumni Relations are encouraging alumni chapters to hold virtual events. Proposed ideas include simple happy hours, virtual tours of art museums, streaming performances and online discussions of business issues of interest to chapter members.

This past year we have been able to supply our chapters with membership and activity metrics to help set chapter goals. Before the coronavirus hit, our FY21 goal was to hold at least 50 chapter events worldwide. We still hope to reach that objective, but will re-evaluate as the year unfolds. To facilitate engagement opportunities for recent graduates during the crucial, early days of their alumni experience, Alumni Relations, in collaboration with Yale SOM Alumni Chapter Leaders, typically hosts Welcome Events intended to welcome and integrate the newly graduated class into the local alumni community. In addition to engaging recent graduates, invitations to join alumni at Summer Socials were also extended to current students temporarily located in the city during the summer internship season as well as admitted students prior to their matriculation in the Fall of 2019.  
In the summer and fall of 2019, 30 events occurred across the world, including in Hong Kong, New York, Tel Aviv, Portland, Milan, Singapore, Dallas, Lagos, Connecticut, Palo Alto, Seoul, Sydney, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, São Paulo, Austin, Shanghai, Minneapolis, Washington, DC, Taipei, Philadelphia, Toronto, Atlanta, Tokyo, San Francisco, Denver, London, and Beijing.  
In the midst of the current COVID-19 crisis and under the uncertainty of the future of in-person gatherings at this time, Alumni Relations will not organize Summer Social events this year and instead will focus on developing a robust Fall Welcome event series for the Class of 2020. Whether the events take place in person or virtually remains to be decided.

Many of our larger chapters also assist the admissions office in hosting events to help admitted students as they make their decision to attend SOM. Our alumni are a significant asset to help our admissions colleagues recruit the best and brightest students to SOM and this is a great way for you as an alum to “give back”. As someone who has worked for 30 years in higher education, I know these events are critical to the recruitment success as student applicants relish the opportunity to meet successful alumni that are engaged with their alma mater, and who appreciate the value of their Yale education. 

Looking for another way to help SOM? In response to appeals from Dean Kerwin Charles, Senior Associate Dean Joel Getz, as well as the Yale SOM Alumni Advisory Board, to support Yale SOM students in this challenging job market, alumni from chapters around the globe have posted new job and internship positions to the Yale SOM website. If you have the ability to hire a SOM candidate, now is a great time to recruit on the Yale CDO website. The School also encourages alumni to refer prospective students whom they feel would be a great fit for any of Yale SOM’s portfolio of degree programs. Candidates referred by SOM alums receive one-on-one virtual (phone or Skype) meetings with a member of the Admissions Committee to learn more about the School and ask questions about the application process and are tracked specifically throughout the admissions process. You can also grant fee waivers to two full-time MBA applicants each annual cycle. Just click the fee waiver option at the bottom of the referral form. The Global Chapters committee continues to work closely with other SOM Alumni Advisory Board subcommittees, including the Admissions Committee and the Communications Committee to connect Yale SOM around the world and attract applicants who will have positive impact on this world. 

Yale SOM’s global network of chapter leaders serve in an important role engaging alumni at the regional level. The Global Chapters Committee of the Yale SOM Alumni Advisory Board works closely with chapter leaders to support their alumni engagement efforts, largely around in-person events. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Yale SOM has cancelled all school-sponsored alumni events for the foreseeable future. Yale SOM has also asked our chapter leaders to hold on requesting and planning future events until further notice. It is the school’s hope to resume all event planning as soon as possible. To that end, the Global Chapters Committee will be working with chapter leaders on alternative ways they can support and continue to engage fellow alumni as well as current students in their regions who are continuing their studies remotely for the remainder of the semester. 

On behalf of the Global Chapters Committee, we hope that all Yale alumni remain safe and healthy. 

Respectfully yours,
Ed O’Connor EMBA ‘11 
Chair, Global Chapters Committee 
Yale SOM Alumni Advisory Board 

About the author

Edward O'Connor