Network of alumni spans across major cities

 

With all the high profile Emerson alumni, it’s no surprise that graduates of the college hold a gold standard for their careers.

With that in mind, Almuni Relations Director Stephanie Morrison said she created the GOLD Council, an organization that works to facilitate recent graduates in their transitions from students to professionals.

Short for Graduates Of the Last Decade, the group consists of 30 alumni, with plans to expand to 40 in the future. Any alumni from 2001 onward can join.

“Young alumni relate to the school differently,” Morrison said. “The GOLD Council will advocate for the recent alumni and advise the alumni association on their behalf.”

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New York, Los Angeles, and Boston each have between seven and 11 council members, other members live in Las Vegas and San Francisco, Morrison said.

Morrison said the Council, which was initiated last fall, is still trying to clarify its role.

“We already have [alumni] chapters, especially in hub cities’, so right now we’re trying to figure out how to partner with them,” she said.

Thom Dunn, a writing, literature, and publishing and theatre studies double major who graduated in 2008, is a member of the Boston branch. He said young alumni may at first feel a need to distance themselves from the college, but the GOLD Council helps keep them in touch with Emerson after graduation.

“Our role is to cultivate and perpetuate the Emerson community,” he said. “It’s about networking and community.”

Sarah McCulley, a member of the New York City  council and 2010 graduate, praised Morrison’s idea to develop an organization aimed at keeping recent alumni connected nationwide.

“We’re filling a hole that alumni relations hasn’t been able to reach in the past,” she said.

McCulley added that she was excited by the high-caliber resumés from members of the Council.

“I was impressed when meeting all these people for the first time. They’re all very confident and respected people in their fields.”

Nicolette Orlemans, who graduated in May 2010, is also a member of the Boston branch. Orlemans stressed the importance of holding events, seeing them as essential to the mission of the Council.

“The GOLD Council really strives to help students, seniors especially, to connect with alumni through different events and opportunities to meet,” Orlemans said.

Morrison and Orlemans said the next Boston event, a panel on personal finances co-sponsored by EC4Life, will be held on April 13th. The panel will allow students to ask questions about loans and 401ks.

“It’s beneficial and educational and will be very helpful,” Orlemans said.

Additionally, events are being planned for senior week in Boston and mixers are being planned in New York. Orlemans said some Council members will be at April Preview Days speaking with prospective students on panels and answering their questions.

McCulley said it is important to make sure young alumni know they have somewhere to go for advice and guidance.

“We want [young alumni] to know that we exist in the community and are a resource they can use,” she said.

As of now, the Council has no specific structure, but will meet this summer for a strategic planning session to decide whether to have a hierarchy and positions assigned. Morrison said.