We’ve had a great 2017 here in the alumni team at Essex – because we’ve shared it with so many of you – and these are the bits we liked best. We hope you’ve felt real benefits this year from your lifelong membership of Essex, and have a great 2018.
Jo enjoyed our first recent graduates’ event
I’ve wanted to hold a dedicated recent graduate event for a while now, and in November we finally got the chance. We chose a great venue in the igloos of rooftop venue RoofEast in London, where alumni from 2013 onwards got the chance to develop their networking skills with other recent graduates based in the city, and to reminisce about Essex. It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves (even if they were cold!), and I was really pleased to see so many graduates there for their first ever alumni event. This is hopefully just the beginning of a number of events for recent grads!
Freddy loves graduation
For me, the highlight of nearly every year at Essex is graduation. Rain or shine, everyone has a great time. This year was no different, and was our biggest yet with more ceremonies than ever before. We also welcomed honorary graduates and some alumni who missed their graduation first time round. It is our busiest week of the year, we all end up exhausted, but we have a great time. My personal favourite moment was meeting one of this year’s honorary graduates, Jason Leonard. He won the Rugby World Cup with England in 2003, and was my hero when I was growing up.
Sarah’s enjoyed bringing people together
Over the past year I’ve really enjoyed involving international alumni with volunteering opportunities and events in their region. A personal highlight was the success of our first-ever event in Tokyo – over 100 alumni attended a reception hosted by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster, to hear news from Essex, catch up with old friends and make new ones. We’re planning lots of international events in 2018 – so make sure we have your up-to-date details so we can send you an invitation nearer the time.
Chris is proud of the new magazine
Producing our alumni magazine is one of the big tasks of the year, but it’s very satisfying. We can explore stories in more depth than we can in our e-newsletter, and really get to know what our alumni are up to. For me, this year’s highlight is our interview with John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons and our new Chancellor. It’s a chance to get to know him – from his days as a Conservative student and his moving memories of graduation, to life now above Speaker’s House, where a cat called ‘Order’ handles the “rodent problem”.
Genevieve was inspired by our careers event
Some of the most rewarding moments for me are when students and alumni come together to share their experiences of their time at Essex. Our annual ‘Career Conversations’ event last month saw alumni from a range of professions come back to campus to share their stories with students. Graduates from the last five decades came (including some of our most recent graduates) and recounted their journeys since Essex and passed on their tips for success. There was such a buzz at the networking session afterwards, and so many people said how much they’d enjoyed the evening. It’s an inspiring event. No matter what generation, there’s a unique bond between Essex students past and present.
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