Spring 2009: from the EAA

Allison Dykes

Allison Dykes, Vice-President for Alumni Relations

Bryan Meltz

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By Allison Dykes

Dear Friends,

“In these economic times . . . ”

Recently, that phrase has become standard issue in opening most any conversation—and what comes afterward is rarely positive. We all have friends whose lives have been adversely affected by the economy. Nobody has all the answers; the best we can do is to support each other as best we can during tougher times.

Professional success has long been one of the main interests of Emory alumni. Perhaps now more than ever, our careers have taken on even greater importance. That’s why the EAA offers many career services just for alumni. Several of them can be found on E-Connection (www.alumni.emory.edu/econnection), our new online professional and social network that’s offered exclusively to the Emory community. I first mentioned E-Connection in my winter letter, shortly after its debut, and since then it’s only continued to grow.

Since coming online in December, more than 3,000 alumni and students have registered on E-Connection. On behalf of everyone on the staff of the EAA, I’d like to thank each of you for getting involved. So far, E-Connection has succeeded beyond our expectations, and I’m extremely happy that it has generated so much interest.

On E-Connection, you can network with fellow alumni who share your personal and professional interests, reconnect with former classmates, and even post photos or join Emory-specific groups. The social aspect of E-Connection is important, but where it really stands apart is in its professional offerings.

There are job boards where you can see a list of positions posted just for Emory alumni, you have an option to post your resume for employers (or, if you are an employer yourself, you can think Emory first and pull resumes of your fellow alumni to fill positions or internships at your workplace), and there is the networking piece I mentioned earlier. Emory alumni can be marvelous professional resources for each other. Until now, though, there hasn’t been an easy way to take advantage of those built-in bonds. E-Connection couldn’t be more aptly named.

It “connects” alumni personally and professionally.

Now, if you are an Emory graduate and you haven’t joined E-Connection, I have just one question: What are you waiting for?

While many of the EAA’s career services take advantage of the new technologies available online, another service uses a quality tool that dates back to the 1800s: the telephone.

Coach Chat (www.alumni.emory.edu/coachchat) is an innovative, interactive teleforum that invites alumni to participate by phone in conversations with the EAAs Executive Career Coach Jodie Charlop 82Ox 85C who offers advice on how to navigate a variety of professional challenges. Jodie is frequently joined by alumni guests from a broad range of career backgrounds, which ensures a dynamic setting every time.

There is no question that these are difficult times for those of us on campus, but there is still a great deal of good going on here at Emory, especially for our alumni. In just a few weeks, we will be celebrating Emory Commencement Weekend and welcoming more than 3,000 new graduates into our community of Emory alumni. We’re also in the midst of planning for Emory Homecoming 2009, September 24 to 26. If your graduation year ends in a “4” or a “9,” this is your reunion year! If you haven’t been contacted yet, keep an eye on snail and email. Your invitation will be in hand soon.

If you want to volunteer to help plan your reunion, that’s easy, too. Just send an email to Gloria Grevas, assistant director for Emory Weekend and reunions, at ggrevas@emory.edu. Reunion planning is one of the EAA’s most fun (and popular) volunteer opportunities.

Thank you so much for reading and for staying involved with your alma mater. Now that I’m finished with this letter, I’m going to step outside and enjoy Atlanta’s spring weather. This is definitely one of the best times to be on campus!

If you haven’t been back to campus recently, I hope you’ll visit soon—be it during Emory Commencement Weekend, Homecoming, Family Weekend, or another time. And when you do come back, I hope you’ll stop by the Miller-Ward Alumni House. As always, if you have any thoughts or comments about the EAA, Emory University, or anything else, please send me an email at adykes@emory.edu. It’s always a pleasure hearing from you.

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