When I was studying at Northeastern University, I had heard about the Northeastern University Alumni Office and community. Based on my understanding at least in some Chinese universities, an alumni office aims to connect alumnus who have already gained great achievements in their field. Considering that I only have five years’ working experience, I never would have imagined that I would become an organizer for a Northeastern University Alumni Event.
I am really grateful to Professor Patty Goodman, who recommended me to become a local Alumni Ambassador. Being a Northeastern Alumni Ambassador is an extremely exciting experience. It has been delightful connecting with more alumni and getting them involved in our community, along with building a bridge between Northeastern University Alumni in China and around the world.
Recently, I was asked to lead the planning for a kickoff event in Shenzhen. I valued communicating with Yelena Zaharoff, who coordinated from the Boston Northeastern Alumni Relation’s Office, as well as organizing and managing the local event team. It is absolutely a great decision to launch alumni communities in China considering many Chinese alumni are now coming back from America to pursue career development.
We had seven members in Shenzhen Alumni community volunteering including members from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Wallace studied at Northeastern for 4 years and is currently working in Hong Kong in an investment bank. Miga is from Taiwan and has a job in Guangzhou. Luckily, Miga had many experiences in hosting events. Weitong is our photographer who took wonderful pictures during the event. Jackie offered consistently great ideas. In addition, Qiong and Runjie were very attentive and diligent. I had reached out to Professor Patty about being available to welcome our alumni at the kickoff. She was thrilled to join us virtually. The pieces were coming together.
During the preparation phase, we did face many challenges. How will we involve alumni in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong areas? We decided to create a Wechat group and encourage former classmates and friends from Northeastern University to join the group.
How were we going to coordinate the logistics? With Yelena’s guidance, we placed orders with the university business vendors and gained support from alumni from different places to address the needs. We were supported by the university financially, as well as with human resources counsel for the kick-off event. Yelena really inspired us to continue to move forward throughout the planning of this event.
On Dec 23rd 2017, we had a successful kick-off event in a fabulous venue at Hilton hotel, with about 50 alumni from Hongkong, Taipei, Shanghai and other cities in Guangdong province attending the celebration.
Professor Patty virtually offered a welcome address at the kick-off event. Queenie, featured in the last picture above, was so excited to see her Professor again.
It was exciting to connect with the Taipei alumni community and we plan to bring our communities together to hold future events.
Shenzhen —— China’s booming city-built-from-nothing on the border with Hong Kong. It is a young city (only 39 years history , citizen’s average age is less than 30) and an innovation hub with enormous business opportunities, it is now the third largest city in China after Beijing and Shanghai in terms of economic strength and population. Shenzhen is now attracting talents from all over the world, providing outstanding individuals, universities and science institutions which are going to launch their programs in Shenzhen area with resources and strongly financial support. In Shenzhen, we could do many things to meet Northeastern University’s goal of globalization and diversification.
In 2018, we are planning to formally launch the Shenzhen Alumni community. Our goal is not only develop a community, but also an ideal place to grow with our alumni and Northeastern University. Specifically, we plan to launch business experience sharing sessions and some entertainment activities. Most members in this community are pretty young and currently at a starting point in their career. We would love to engage more senior and experienced alumni to join us if possible. As far as I know, Taipei Alumni community is also going to be launched in the summer of 2018. Most of their alumni graduated in the late 20th century. It would be great to get our Shenzhen and Taipei communities together.
In closing, alumni communities are not only a place for alumnus to seek support from each other, but also a body to promote the prosperity of Northeastern University. I am honored to be the Northeastern University Alumni Ambassador for the Shenzhen community and will serve it wholehearted. If someone is considering being involved with Northeastern University alumni community, I strongly suggest that you do not hesitate. You will always find support here.
Written by Mingming Xu, MS COC‘16