By Michelle McClellan, Assistant Dean, Development and Alumni Relations
Second in a series of four articles by senior Haas leaders about the key goals underlying our strategic business plan
As we begin to put our new strategic business plan into motion, I’ve noticed that a theme is emerging: our shared views about what is important to us as a school. The key word there is shared: in order to build on our Defining Principles and put our plan into action, we need to up our game as collaborators. How do we better collaborate to strengthen our alumni network—and do so with the extraordinary talent, insights, and commitment that can be found everywhere across the school?
While it’s too early to measure outcomes of our new strategic priorities, we already have some powerful stories that illustrate how small steps and more focused and defined collaborations are having an impact. One example is our tactic of delivering life-long alumni learning opportunities. A diverse group of partners within Haas and across campus, including the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Berkeley-Haas Digital team, our program offices and faculty, and the Berkeley Resource Center for Online Education, has been developing digital content that will allow alumni continued access to the best of Haas. And early indicators show that thousands of alumni are already embracing our Students Always principle: More than 2,500 people have watched Professor Teck Ho’s Best of Pricing Seminar, which is accessible to alumni and students, and a “Haas Talk” video titled “Why Bitcoin Will Change Everything,” by Ian Lee, MBA 10, has gotten 21,500 views. With increased Haas-wide partnerships in both content development and marketing, traffic to Berkeley-Haas Insights—our life-long learning web portal for alumni—has increased more than 150% in the past year.
Connecting with our alumni within our company communities is another important tactic. It falls under our Bay Area location strategy, but it’s also linked to our Network-value tactic. Working collaboratively this past summer, Development and Alumni Relations and the Career Management Group provided first-year MBA students with lists of alumni at the companies where they were interning. The response from students was enormously positive—they expressed appreciation for the introduction to a new corporate network of Berkeley-Haas alumni. While it was focused on our MBA students, the project had some unintentional ripple effects. And undergraduate student wrote this note to Dean Lyons: Wanted to share with you an update about the power of the Berkeley-Haas network so far with my summer internship. I have been able to reach out to several alumni…So far, the reception has been overwhelming positive…It has been an eye opening experience to see the Berkeley-Haas network growing and thriving.
It’s inspiring to read a student’s comments about how small steps lead to a stronger community. And, we hope that these activated groups grow in strength to help drive career support, admissions, and custom executive education. Where next will our teams shine and form new networks? Stay tuned as we gain momentum with our alumni network tactic teams and partners.