After 10 years at the helm of the Alumni Relations Team at the Business School, Nicola Pogson has taken up the new role as Director of Alumni Relations for Imperial College. During her time here Nicola spearheaded some dynamic changes, establishing the active alumni network as it is today.
“Some of you will know that last year I was appointed Director of Alumni Relations for Imperial College, moving on from my role as Head of Alumni Relations for the Business School. I am now delighted to inform you that Erin Hallett has just joined the Business School as my successor, and I can now fully concentrate on my new role.”
One of the first and greatest challenges Nicola took on when she began was to build up an engaged alumni network, which met the professional development and personal needs to our alumni. Today the alumni network has over 14,000 alumni across 130 countries, but when Nicola joined the figure was about half this, with fewer programmes on offer. “Prior to my joining, there had been limited investment in alumni relations, there were not many opportunities for alumni to get involved and not a very strong alumni community. We have worked hard to build our alumni programme, better communications, opportunities for involvement and for alumni to connect with, and support, each other in diverse ways. In 2014 we had over 750 alumni who got involved in some way, and I know that we can continue to build on this.
“It always personally inspires me to see how generous alumni are in taking time to share their expertise and advice with current or prospective students, as well as helping to build the alumni community in some way, such as through the Alumni Advisory Board, focus groups, professional interest groups locally, or international groups. Their support has made a real difference.”
Alumnus Andrew Robertson (Full-time MBA 1993) worked closely with Nicola during his time as Co-Chair of the Alumni Advisory Board, and saw first-hand the difference that Nicola made:
Having gained my MBA in 1993 it was very noticeable how the services for alumni improved after Nicola joined the School. Her enthusiasm, professionalism and desire to make the Business School the best in the UK for alumni was clear. I have no doubt that that she will take the same energy with her to the College.
The School’s alumni services have come a long way, but as Nicola acknowledges, there is always room for continuous improvement: “Our Alumni Survey in 2014 gave us insights into the levels of engagement (which are high) but also the many areas for continued improvement; and we recognise that there is still much to be done!”
And keen to drive those changes forward is Erin, who joins us from Birkbeck, University of London, where she held the post of Alumni Engagement Manager. Originally from Canada, with a background in Alumni Relations, Erin moved to the UK last June, and is excited to take on the challenges at the Business School: “I am delighted to join the Business School and work with a diverse group of high-achieving and engaged alumni. The Business School has a committed alumni community and I look forward to developing new opportunities for alumni to connect and contribute. In the coming months, I hope to meet many of you and hear about your experiences. I welcome your feedback as to how our Alumni Relations Office can support you and build an even stronger community. I encourage you to stay in touch; your support and engagement are critical to the ongoing success of the Business School!”
Nicola will continue to work closely with the team in her new post, ensuring even stronger tie-in with the Central College and their alumni network. “As I move onto my new position at the College, one of my objectives will be to build opportunities to enable alumni from across the College to connect and benefit from both shared interests, but also from the diversity of the alumni community. A couple of recent initiatives, such as the launch of the Women’s Network and the Imperial in the City Network, as well as the Alumni Entrepreneurs Showcase at the Alumni Weekend are some examples.
“If you have ideas on how we can build cross Imperial alumni programmes, please always feel free to contact Erin, firstname.lastname@example.org or myself on email@example.com. I hope to catch up with some of you in the future!
“I very much enjoyed my time at the Business School. Thank you for your ever constructive feedback and support. I’ve made many friends, and have been inspired by your achievements.”