For the first time in its storied history, the GBF invited Alums from almost three decades of Graduate Business Conferences to join the current delegates at the 28th GBC, hosted by the ESADE Business School, in Barcelona, Spain on April 1-2, 2011. Alums from all over the world arrived to meet with old friends, to share experiences with the student delegates, to be challenged on the topic of responsible leadership, and, of course, to enjoy one of the most vibrant cities in Europe.
The Graduate Business Conference is more than just an avenue for sharing best practices in graduate business student government. It is an opportunity to build professional networks, and also a forum where close and lifelong personal ties are made. The conversations never stop when the conference wraps; the GBF provides the venue to maintain these networks and keep connections alive. In 2009, Alums organized and held the first official “alumni reunion” in New York, and the idea to host an annual Alumni Summit was born.
As envisioned, the Alumni Summit was held in parallel to the Graduate Business Conference. 25 Alums representing many GBC experiences joined in the conversation. To welcome Alums on arrival to Barcelona, an informal networking and welcome dinner was hosted at a traditional Catalan restaurant. The dinner was made even more special and the delegates made to feel more welcome by the presence of GBF founder Jim Deveau and the GBF Executive Team.
This group then joined the GBC on its last two days. The Alumni Summit was divided up into two kinds of sessions: Some with the student delegates and some Alums only. Among the variety of sessions and activities organized as a part of this summit, the alums were challenged by Trevor Waldock, the author of’The 18 Challenges of Leadership’ on ’how to be a responsible leader’. Ken Morse, the founder of 3Com, talked about his personal experiences; he engaged with the delegates asking them about their goals and targets over the next five years all the while offering these future leaders with important advice on how to be a good leader and build a strong career. To make the experience more engaging and all-encompassing, alums that weren’t able to attend the sessions due to prior committments participated through a virtual Learning Circle, where they were asked to share their perspectives looking back on the Business School Experience.
Outside of the rigor and formality of the conference setting, dinners were held on each night of the conference providing the alums an opportunity to engage and network with the delegates on a more informal basis. As with every GBC, the gala dinner held on Friday night was the highlight of the conference as it brought out the delegates in their glamorous best! The aura of the dinner was magnified by the venue at which it was hosted; the Can Cortada restaurant provided the ideal setting for a dinner of this calibre.
The GBF Alumni Team would like to use this opportunity to thank the ESADE team for their hard work and cooperation that made the 2011 Alumni Summit a possibility. Given the tremendous success and strong feedback this part of the summit received, we are already looking forward to and are excited about the prospect of the 2012 Alumni Summit to be held in New York.
If you are a former GBC organizer or a delegate we would love for you to join us at the 2012 Alumni Summit! More information and registration is available at the official conference page.
Also, make sure you sign up for the GBF Official Alumni Group at LinkedIn to keep up to date with all the latest information on GBF-sponsored Groups, Local Events and Announcements!