by Sarah Storer.
RoboJackets has been growing in size and complexity over the last decade. Because of the flourishing membership we’ve also had success with alumni retention: “old people” who are interested in sticking around to help out even after they’ve graduated. This has been happening for a few years, and the alumni who have been working behind the scenes finally saw a good time to make it official.
In the last month, a small group of alumni that have been especially involved held meetings to create a constitution and elect officers to form the RoboJackets Alumni Association. The alumni association enables alumni to continue helping RoboJackets even after they’ve left Georgia Tech and formalizes an effort that already existed. The association also allows alumni to stay connected with other RoboJackets alumni. Because of this, alumni can now share career opportunities and social groups with each other.
The alumni group plans to focus on supporting current students in specific and limited ways that do not impede the typical RoboJackets experience. The alumni do not intend to take on student responsibilities, or solve the problems that RoboJackets members use as growth and leadership opportunities. A major goal mentioned frequently at the preliminary alumni meetings is to remove “suffering for sufferings’ sake” from the RoboJackets experience when possible.
The mission statement of the RoboJackets Alumni Association is as follows: Serve and empower current students and alumni through connection and engagement for a focused, healthy, and positive RoboJackets experience.
The work the RoboJackets Alumni Association wants to accomplish can be divided into 4 basic categories: Hard Problems, Mentorship, Money, and Alumni Groups.
Hard problems include issues like space, retention, and overbearing challenges that are larger than the effort of a single student or group of students during the typical four year tenure.
The alumni association wants to foster mentorship between alumni and current students because alumni have meaningful experience in RoboJackets as well as the outside world to offer current students. The alumni association seeks to utilize that experience to mentor RoboJackets students in the areas they are knowledgeable and passionate about to help the members of RoboJackets grow.
To help alleviate monetary challenges, the RoboJackets Alumni Association has established the RoboJackets Operational Endowment within the Georgia Tech Foundation. This fund will be built and used to pay for large expenses (such as new large equipment, etc.).
While these are in their early stages now, the alumni association would like to facilitate alumni connecting in small groups based on their geographic locations in the US and around the world. This is intended to mirror the Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s approach to connecting Georgia Tech graduates across the globe.
The RoboJackets Alumni Association already has a few tools to stay connected. The first is the LinkedIn group: RoboJackets Alumni Group. Currently, the LinkedIn group is used to communicate about the RoboJackets Alumni Newsletter and to share career opportunities through an official channel. The second is the new Slack workspace! This new Slack workspace allows alumni to communicate without eating into the message history of the RoboJackets Slack. Click this link to join! (It will only be active until April 26, please email Sarah Storer, current President of the RoboJackets Alumni Association, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance or need a new link.) Finally, the RoboJackets calendar has events marking monthly meetings where alumni discuss and vote on alumni project proposals. You can find that here: RoboJackets Alumni Association Meeting.