Alumni Western Be Extraordinary The Campaign For Western

Ten thousand reasons to talk

by John Eberhard, BA’66, LLB’69

Eberhard

One conversation. Two Western minds. 10,000 possibilities.

Sound intriguing? Well, we certainly hope so. Recently, the Alumni Association partnered with Ten Thousand Coffees, a networking forum that connects young professionals with industry leaders for informal career conversations online, or in person. Together, we have embarked upon a journey of connections and relationship building. The aim is to offer all Western alumni and students an opportunity to sit down, share a cup of coffee and engage in a mutual exchange of insights and ideas.

An important priority for your Alumni Association this year has been to create an opportunity for alumni and students to interact in meaningful conversations.

We believe that by engaging a student, an alumnus can be an important community connection characterized by a shared belief in the value of a Western degree. Alumni will now have an opportunity to engage the next generation of bright minds and students can now tap into Western’s global network.

One coffee meeting may change the course of a career path, it may cement a long held dream of vocational change or it may be just the start of a long-term mentor- based relationship. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders.

The Ten Thousand Coffees hub can be accessed at the Western Alumni website, alumni.westernu.ca. We encourage you to visit the site and complete a profile – we promise it is user friendly and we are here to help. If you are already active on LinkedIn, you can bring over your profile to ease the set up. Once you are signed up you can connect with any of thousands of Western connections, alumni and students alike, who are waiting to connect with you.

This digital forum allows for all members to initiate conversations. A few clicks of the mouse are all that separate you from inviting a Western community member to engage in a conversation over a cup of coffee (or tea, or whatever your beverage of choice may be). This could lead to an in-person meeting, a telephone get-to-know-you session or a Google Hang-Out appointment. You set the time and place and you set the agenda. By following a few easy to navigate prompts, users can send an invitation and indicate what they would like to discuss. Once accepted, the location and logistical details are ironed out and both parties can reap
the benefits of a great conversation with someone from the Western network.

We know that sparks fly whenever two Western alumni meet and begin to share their stories. And we know alumni love to help students. The Western Ten Thousand Coffees hub provides a tremendous opportunity to invite a Western connection for a coffee and begin a conversation that may just change perspectives, heighten interests or answer burning questions. Everyone who completes a profile is, in essence, raising their hand to the Western community and saying “I’d like to chat with you”.

Western Alumni began inviting alumni into the Ten Thousand Coffees hub late last year. There are already more than 1,600 members registered and ready to accept invitations. Won’t you add your name to this list? Join us today and become a part of the experience.


This article appeared in the Winter 2016 edition of Alumni Gazette
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