Fall 2008

Alumni News

HAN to Create Industry-Focused Virtual Communities

By William Ledeen, MBA 86, HAN Alumni Council Member

In response to feedback from alumni, the Haas Alumni Network (HAN) is creating new "virtual communities" to foster more communication and career opportunities among members.

A recent survey of nearly 2,000 Haas alumni revealed that alumni desire more networking events and activities focused on specific industries and disciplines. In addition to developing more such events, a new task force of the HAN Alumni Council is creating "virtual" industry- and discipline-focused communities of Haas alumni that transcend geographic boundaries.

These virtual communities are poised to put the Haas Alumni Network at the cutting edge of business school alumni services. To our knowledge, Haas is one of the first top business schools to have industry-focused chapters to serve a worldwide community.

We envision these affinity groups enabling alumni worldwide to exchange ideas, to network, and to explore career opportunities in a managed and secure online environment. Initially we plan to support existing affinity groups (for example, real estate and biotech) with new online services. We also plan to develop new affinity groups allied with specific centers of excellence within the Haas School (such as the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Management of Technology Program, or the Center for Energy and Environmental Innovation). We will be calling upon Haas alumni to help us prioritize and to volunteer to lead affinity groups in the coming months. 

So please watch for e-mail announcements about this exciting new venture and be prepared to contribute your innovative ideas and preferences as we embark on this important expansion of the Haas Alumni Network.

In the meantime, the new Affinity Groups Task Force is particularly focused on the technology challenges of supporting virtual communities, including which technologies are most effective at connecting far-flung alumni. If you have expertise, advice, or interest in these issues, the Affinity Groups Task Force would welcome your participation. For more information, please contact Leslie Kanberg, director of alumni relations, at



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