Stronger than ever
With a new partnership agreement, INSEAD and the INSEAD Alumni Association affirm their continued collaboration in bolstering the school’s alumni network
With more than 53,000 alumni representing 159 nationalities and working in 170 countries, the INSEAD alumni network is incredibly diverse, engaged and powerful.
This robust alumni community is critical to the school’s continued success. With this in mind, INSEAD and the INSEAD Alumni Association (IAA) recently created the INSEAD Alumni Vision 2020, a partnership agreement focused on improving and enhancing alumni engagement.
The IAA is the umbrella organisation for the National Alumni Associations (NAA), National Alumni Clubs (NAC), National Contacts and Global Clubs. The new agreement renews the IAA’s commitment to collaborate with INSEAD to support the alumni community and school.
It also rearticulates the vision for how the IAA and INSEAD will cooperate in the years ahead, explains INSEAD Director of Alumni Relations Austin Tomlinson.
“The Association and the school are working together as partners, stronger than ever before, to bring INSEAD to new levels of excellence and drive alumni engagement,” Austin says. “This is essential to Dean Ilian Mihov’s vision to grow the school and his commitment to strengthening the global alumni community.”
The renewed partnership states the IAA’s and INSEAD’s shared vision to ensure that INSEAD remains the world’s best business school through a network of fully engaged alumni. It also outlines their mission to work together to maximise IAA/NAA Alumni membership and increase opportunities for alumni to connect with each other and the school.
A strong spirit of volunteerism
Founded by alumni as an independent organisation in 1961, the IAA’s mission is to serve and engage the global INSEAD alumni community and to foster lifelong relationships among alumni and with the school. The IAA’s unique model of alumni relations is based on volunteerism and is autonomous in its legal structure.
Jean Marie d’Arjuzon MBA ’60, the IAA’s first president, established a clear vision and model for the organisation. The unique nature of this model has helped instill a strong sense of community and ownership among INSEAD alumni.
When current IAA President Sadia Khan MBA’95D came into her leadership role three years ago, her mantra for the organisation was “collaboration.” Her goal is to lead the IAA in working with INSEAD to build a bright future together for the school and the community.
One of her first actions as president was to begin the process of creating the INSEAD Alumni Vision 2020. IAA Executive Committee Member David Mair MBA’96J headed up the initiative to outline the partnership and strengthen INSEAD’s incredible volunteer network.
“The fact that our alumni network model is built on volunteerism is unique,” says Sadia. “Volunteers are essential to the alumni network and our alumni community at INSEAD is built on a strong spirit of volunteerism.”
Unlike many peer schools, where the alumni relations model is top-down, INSEAD’s alumni network is more of a grassroots movement from the bottom-up, explains Austin.
“We have incredibly active associations around the world who are really doing a lot to drive alumni engagement,” he says. “I can’t believe how committed the alumni are and how much they do for the school. The amount of hours that I see people spending on activities is remarkable.”
The IAA is serviced and supported by 55 national associations and clubs around the world, whose activities are funded through membership dues. Members’ affection for INSEAD often fuels their commitment to the associations.
“They have such fond memories of their time at INSEAD,” says Austin. “They’re typically pretty driven people anyway, so when you take that and mix in some passion with it, you have what I believe are the most active alumni volunteers of any business school in the world.”
Benefits of membership
INSEAD Alumni Vision 2020 outlines the benefits active alumni receive from being part of the alumni network and joining their national association. The IAA and INSEAD have recently released a video summarising these benefits. What is particularly noteworthy is that for the first time, the agreement also sets out the commitment of both the IAA and the school to continue to enhance the membership experience.
Membership enables graduates to network with alumni in their local country and in associations all over the world. Members also receive access to additional resources, such as webinars and online INSEAD courses; information on the best business journalism and academic research; and exclusive invitations to members-only, high-calibre events.
Involvement as a volunteer for INSEAD and the IAA allows alumni to deepen their connection to the school and the alumni community while contributing their unique insights, skills and experiences to the network. Austin notes that serving as an INSEAD volunteer can be a one-time, hour-long experience—such as speaking to a class—or a multi-year, in-depth commitment—such as serving on the executive committee of a NAA. Any involvement, however, helps continue to strengthen the alumni community and ensure that INSEAD remains the “business school for the world.”
“Volunteerism and membership are really essential to the ongoing development and health of the alumni network,” says Austin. “We’re not just interested in being the number one business school for the sake of it. We want to better the world. And part of that involves having a very engaged alumni network using business as a force for good.”