CHENNAI: When the alumni of a college that is over 200 years old gets together, a lot happens beyond recollecting memories and sharing life stories. The upcoming Global Alumni Meet of the College of Engineering(CEG), Anna University aims at much more than a reunion of students, looking at networking opportunities and adding value to the college and its students.
“With the globalising trend and a vast alumni, we also need to look ahead to see what else we can do,” says B Karunakaran, the president of CEG’s Alumni Association. (AACEG), a 90-year old club that has over 16,000 registered members. The group, after looking at trends in foreign universities, works at creating networking and business opportunities, helping students with placements and higher studies and trying to contribute to their alma mater.
The batches began reuniting after the advent of email in the 90’s, and after social networking and Facebook, the connect got easier. “Students can get information about jobs, placements, guidance for startups through virtual networking. We also can work together on entrepreneurial and business ventures,” says B Vishwanathan, a committee member of the group. They recount an incident where a group of students from biomedical engineering had not got any placements, and on posting on the alumni group, an ex-graduate based in USA who was in need came in and recruited the whole batch. “We have seen how universities like Stanford work and we haven’t exploited the potential in India. Alumni there are active in helping students with matters like financial aid and professional cousnelling,” adds Vishwanathan.
The alumni meet that is to take place on January 4 will go on with panel discussions on various subjects like the ‘make in India’ about manufacturing, sessions to help people on the aspects they need to know before venturing into entrepreneurship and even on alumni who broke the engineering mould to pursue other passions like film and sports. Prominent graduates who have made it big would be talking to the students and other alumni on their experiences. “We hope to open up new business partnerships and career growth through this alumni meet,” say the committee members.