The growing influence of the Lancaster MBA alumni network
Published 29 November 2011
This feature by Harriet Murdoch was originally published by BusinessBecause on 29 November 2011. We are grateful to BusinessBecause for permission to reprint it here.
Whether it is an after work drink or a job introduction, the alumni network is a useful resource for MBAs
For any MBA the alumni network from their business school is a lifelong resource that can be used to advantage. Fredrik Sandvall is a Lancaster University Management School MBA alumnus and an active member of the Lancaster MBA alumni network – which has over 630 members on LinkedIn alone and is constantly growing. Fredrik Sandvall explains how he has been contributing to the network.
Fredrik, 37, is originally from Sweden and is a Principle Consultant with SBR Consulting who aim to create successful sales habits through training sales people and sales managers. On the side he runs two companies in Sweden and helps consulting SME start-ups.
After graduating in 2008 Fredrik began to play a large role in the Lancaster MBA alumni network. “I actually started to attend alumni network meetings in London even before I graduated. I was doing my MBA summer project in London so I started to meet with previous alumni before I had left Lancaster.”
The official alumni meetings are held two to three times a year and then there are many unofficial meetings alongside. “These can range from after-work drinks to helping each other to be introduced for job offers.”
Fredrik says that in the last two weeks he has helped four different Lancaster MBAs: “They are the guys who are just about to graduate. I have given them advice on how to find jobs and how to start up their own companies. I forwarded the CV to the Managing Director of a company.”
As Fredrik explains: “All networks become what you make of them. If you come to an alumni network with boundaries of what you think it can achieve it won't be successful. You have to come looking for opportunities.”
Being a foreigner in Britain himself Fredrik says that he had a limited network in London and the alumni network introduced him to a lot of people. “It provided me with a cross-industry network and allowed me to be introduced to other people.”
In the coming months the alumni network has meetings in India, the Middle East and Singapore. “The network is an ongoing process and has increased both in activity and in quality over the past couple of years. It is high on the School’s agenda to make it even better.”
Fredrik says the MBAs from Lancaster University Management School are very international, have high international mobility and a desire to move industry. Of the four students he has helped out this week, two are from India, one is from Thailand and one is from America.
Fredrik has been returning to the MBA at Lancaster every year to assist with the teaching on the Leadership and Teamwork courses. “I intend to find an opportunity to come back again as the MBAs are very inspirational and I have a lot to share as I am a couple of years older. I would like to return to help with the Consulting and Strategy course.”
For Fredrik it is not just an alumni network from your own business school that is important. “It is great to have an alumni network between business schools, like what Business Because are doing, MBAs have a journey with different experiences but similar challenges. Regardless of which business school you have been to the MBA is an uniting experience.”
His advice to MBA graduates is: “Do not just look for jobs on the computer. Get out and meet people! Network and talk to as many people as you can.”
Reprinted by kind permission of BusinessBecause.com