For those going out into the business world for the first time, getting tips from those who have already made it is a good way to start. Businessmen who have graduated and made it in the business world can enlighten students on how to avoid real-world pitfalls.
One example of this was the recent Alumni Meet which took place at MIET – the Model Institute of Engineering and Technology. At this event more than 75 alumni from all multi-national business industries participated. In addition, some alumni received one of the ‘Distinguished Alumni Awards’ as a recognition of how they have “set benchmarks in professional achievement.”
James Donovan, Goldman Sachs Managing Director and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, has similarly been involved in using his alumnus status to impart wisdom on the management and cultivation of client relationships.
“Covering clients is a learned skill. It is not an innate skill,” he recently pointed out in a lecture he gave at the Virginia School of Law. He said that it is not something that people are born with; it is something that can be learned…. “if you are willing to learn them.” The way you do this, Donovan suggested to those studying at the institution, is to “find somebody at the firm you work…find someone who’s really good at bringing in business, at covering clients, and learn as much as you can from that person. Be an open book, put your ego aside.”
Another helpful way for alumni to get ahead in the business world is by alumni networking. This was what Princeton University did last month, inviting Asian and Asian American alumni from around the world gathered to “celebrate their significance to the Princeton community.” The ‘We Flourish’ conference did more than that. Over 700 alumni gathered together to network, hear lectures and engage in discussions at the conference that was organized by the Office of the Alumni Affairs and the Association of Asian American Alumni of Princeton. One particularly notable discussion took place between the Chairman of Hopewell Holdings Ltd., Sir Gordon Wu, and Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author, Sheryl WuDunn, about business philosophy, philanthropy and their days at Princeton.
For those who have just graduated – and even others who are making their way in the business world and would like to hear from those who have already made it – alumni gatherings are not only helpful, but are also often extremely enjoyable as these three examples above indicate.