The UNC Kenan-Flagler Alumni Council’s semi-annual meeting in November 2011 focused on assisting the efforts of the school’s Career Management Center, the MBA@UNC degree program, and local Alumni Clubs.
First, we received a report from Amy Wittmeyer, Director of the Career Management Center (CMC). Under Amy’s leadership the CMC has a skilled and dedicated new team in place. Employment metrics for 2011 were on the rebound, and the Center has new initiatives underway for international students and those seeking west coast opportunities. Based on a discussion addressing how the School can better connect with alumni to place our students in jobs they seek, the Alumni Council resolved to become true advocates for the CMC, as our companies and networks can be wonderful sources of employment for Kenan-Flagler students. Further, the Atlanta Alumni Club – led by member Mackie Horton (MBA 1976) – resolved to begin a pilot program offering the CMC placement opportunities in the Atlanta area.
Next, leaders of the school’s MBA@UNC program, Associate Dean Doug Shackelford and Executive Director Susan Cates, presented a program update which included a profile of the MBA@UNC student body. We knew that the MBA@UNC program holds incoming students to the same very high admission standards as the full-time, weekend and executive MBA programs, but it was thrilling to learn about specific students from the program’s first two cohorts of 19 and 32 students – many whom come from incredible companies and schools. The students skew slightly older (average age of 31, with over 7 years work experience) and most come from backgrounds in which earning a primarily remote MBA enables them to remain employed (their companies even often sponsor them) and avoid moving their families. It was also exciting to hear that students’ feedback on the program is incredibly positive, and that media coverage has also been exceptionally favorable.
Many of us on the Alumni Council agreed to become Ambassadors for the MBA@UNC program, serving as a resource for both prospective and enrolled students to learn about Kenan-Flagler’s alumni community and how best to take advantage of all the “Carolina family” has to offer. We also agreed to connect the Council to the program’s current students through its Immersion Weekend in Chapel Hill in December 2011.
Later, we discussed how the Alumni Council can best support regional UNC Kenan-Flagler Alumni Clubs. We agreed that Council members should act as consultants to Club leadership (when not already active leaders themselves) in their respective localities. Council members can be a great asset to local Clubs by acting as a resource for Club program planning and updating Clubs on the Council and school initiatives.
We also heard from Dean Jim Dean on the state of Kenan-Flagler. Jim presented his integrated performance model, in which global reputation and ranking is driven by attracting, developing and retaining high-caliber people, providing high-quality education and research, and creating successful and engaged alumni. In light of the continuing decline of state funding, which places greater emphasis on development, the Council’s next meeting in May 2012 will focus on how the School can engage more of its 31,496 alumni to support Kenan-Flagler.
This was a productive meeting, and I would like to thank all Council members for their personal commitment to the School. As always, we welcome any ideas or feedback from fellow alumni, whom we proudly serve.
Chris Keber (Exec. MBA 2002)
Alumni Council Chair 2011-2012