Did you know that the Dutch Alumni Association is one of the oldest Alumnin associations? In a small and densely populated country like the Netherlands, Dutch alumni gather twice a month in an INSEAD setting to enjoy each other’s company. Cities like Amsterdam and The Hague attract many non-Dutch alumni before and after graduation, which gives us the opportunity to continue to enjoy the global aspects of INSEAD, post-graduation.
A thriving community
The INSEAD network in the Netherlands is particularly strong. What is quite unique about the Netherlands is the relatively large amount of Executive Education Programmes (EDP) alumni and members. Few people realise that the Netherlands is number three in absolute numbers of EDP alumni, after France and the UK. In addition, we boast an 80% membership rate amongst MBA alumni which is one of the highest memberships around the world. In total we have around 1200 members, which represents 50% of our alumni base in the Netherlands. Another key fact about our association is that – aside from an annual membership fee – we are able to offer virtually all our events for free to our members, thanks to our generous sponsors. Large Dutch multinationals and local key players not only sponsor us annually, but also offer sponsorship in kind for large and small events.
About 10 years ago the first local Club catering to special interests was founded. We now have clubs for Private Equity, Energy, Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT), Health Care and Life Sciences as well as the Salamander Investment Fund. Our clubs have enriched the offering to our alumni base tremendously. In the thriving Dutch start-up environment, the Entrepreneurship and TMT clubs are helping INSEAD start-ups find their way. In addition IN-BOARD, our special interest group for non-executive directors, has given more than 150 alumni the opportunity to develop themselves further towards taking on non-executive roles through its on-campus programme followed by eight modules back in the Netherlands.
An association is nothing without volunteers. We are happy to have more than 50 volunteers who dedicate their private time to INSEAD, either through their efforts in the Event Committee, the Clubs, the INSEAD Alumni Fund (IAF), and several other committees. But, being a volunteer would not be much fun without the dedication of our Secretariat, Mary Linn and Odette, who make our lives much easier and make sure that our alumni are served optimally!
We also benefit from the continued support of the INSEAD Dutch Council, who help year after year by giving the Association access to high caliber speakers and ensuring that we celebrate our Annual Dinner at the headquarters of large Dutch multinationals.
Lifelong Learning: Quality over Quantity
We believe that part of the strength of our Alumni Association comes from offering our members experiences which are genuinely unique – because they are INSEAD events. We survey our members every few years and the results have consistently shown that events which provide access to, and interaction with INSEAD professors ranks as the highest priority for our members. At high-profile events such as the annual Strategy Forum (attended by approximately 200 participants) we give our members the opportunity to be exposed to the latest INSEAD research, featuring Professors and industry leaders who speak on topics such as European Competitiveness, Family Business and Sustainability.
In the Netherlands the INSEAD Alumni Fund is embedded in our Alumni Association. The Dutch IAF Trustee is a member of the NAA Board, and together we contribute to raising the awareness of the Fund in the Netherlands. A key achievement has been the establishment of the Dutch Alumni Fellowship for Leadership and Diversity. This fellowship is managed by the INSEAD Global Leadership Centre, under the helm of Prof. Manfred Kets de Vries.
What is next?
We kick off 2016 with our traditional New Year’s Drinks, and our event pipeline is filled with an interesting mix of large and small events. And although the 2015 Strategy Forum was recently held in November, we have already started the organisation for the 2016 Forum. We look forward to a buzzing 2016 and if you are visiting the Netherlands, be sure to join us for an alumni event!