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“Students for a while, Alumni forever”

Since its inception in 2012, SDA Bocconi Asia Center is all set to mark its 8th year celebration in December 2019. Reflecting back in time, what was then deemed as a bold move of Bocconi University and its then MD Bruno Pavesi & Dean Alberto Grando, has become a firm commitment of all their successors over a short span of eight years.

While annual celebrations since the last seven years has mostly revolved around larger numbers, higher quality, increasing salary averages and introduction of new programs, it is only now that we have started reaping the
benefits while simultaneously enjoying the vibrant life of an alumni body too. Even though the numbers are still relatively low (by this April we will have overall 460 alumni from the Asia Center and close to 300 from Milan
programs), but the diversity of our students has been increasingly interesting. Evidently, in the last couple of years, we have started feeling the energy surging in various dimensions. Not just in terms of increasing word of mouth
inquiries and enrollments but also with respect to the number of alumni directed companies coming on board for placements.

For this reason, I pressed upon my already overworked but perennially enthusiastic staff to organize an alumni meeting tour for me across three major cities namely Bombay, Delhi and Bangalore. It gives me immense pleasure to say that the response has been exciting and the participation has been phenomenal. Very similar to an extended family gathering at a large Christmas dinner or a grand Indian wedding. The last few years have been nothing less than eventful. With the Asia Center drawing accolades from industry leaders and the main campus gloriously
climbing the ladder of B-School rankings (recently ranked 3 rd in Europe by FT), it would not be wrong to say that we are getting the best of both worlds. To add to it, the personal success stories of our alumni, churned out of talent and training, has made for these meetings to be really fun and exciting. The meetings made me realize that the alumni have been a significant part of the learning curve of the school. We have taken this journey together,
overcoming the challenges and relishing the accomplishments. Even though some of them might have had some complaints about the school, with the passage of time they have come back with their constructive inputs and
support. It is humbling for me and my staff to learn that after investing in so much hard work and commitment, we are supported by our offspring too.

The Alumni are a part of the equity of a school. They essentially reflect the image of the school in the corporate world and the society at large. That is why I firmly believe in maintaining an ongoing relationship with them which entails walking together even after their Graduation. It has to be in a different way for sure where networking, knowledge and updates sharing, and sometimes booze take a higher stage. The collective trust that the alumni and their families have granted the school is a huge responsibility on the shoulders of our educators. This trust is also one of the greatest personal anchors for educators. We meet our students at a critical time of their personal development, at the brink of starting their career and we are entrusted with the task of their last fine tuning before they leap into the corporate world. It is amazing to witness the huge change that students go through during the two years with us.
I think that our relationship and commitment with our students stays even after they leap and fly out from our nurturing base. At the same time, I believe that our alumni will proudly feel forever a sense of responsibility for the
school to perform well, and a sense of contribution in improving and supporting the school wherever possible. This not only comes from a place of legacy, but also from a sense of personal branding, for belonging to a successful institution with strong values and inspiring targets. Our tagline says “Students for a while, Alumni forever”. That is the sheer reality of our existence, and that is how the relationship has to be carried on. At the moment, we are looking forward to start the second stage of this relationship, where we want to spiral up alumni related events such as lectures, placement assistance, meetings, mock-interviews, soft-skills sessions, mentoring, shadowing and research. We are also in the process of preparing a platform where the alumni and School come together in mentoring and funding entrepreneurship at all levels.

Let’s be the change that we want to see!

Alessandro Giuliani (Managing Director- SDA Bocconi Asia Center)

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