Following the election of Dragana Stanišić to the (US) CERGE-EI Foundation Board in December 2016, we bring you a short interview with her:
1) What do you expect from this opportunity as a new Foundation Board member?
Since graduating in 2013, I’ve wanted to stay in touch with my colleagues, who are also my close friends, and I’ve always been interested in learning about what’s going on in the institution. As a new Foundation Board member, I hope to strengthen the relationship between alumni and CERGE-EI, and among alumni themselves. I hope to make these relationships long-lasting and easy to maintain.
2) What interests you personally in the Foundation activities?
I’m interested in learning about the strategy to develop the Foundation’s support for the future of CERGE-EI. I would also like to see how that vision will shape decisions about students, faculty, resource management, and job market placements.
3) You’ve also agreed to help us coordinate new projects for alumni. What is the desired state we should reach with regard to reviving the alumni community?
Ideally, we will have clearly identified channels through which alumni can support each other, and also support the institution. I believe a simplified communication platform is key for these channels to work effectively.
4) In your view, what topics/events work best to connect alumni across cohorts and nationalities?
I think the most common topic is information about vacancies, job searches, and recommendations. Besides that, simple get-togethers over a beer or events like the CERGE-EI Gala work well too. Most of us have gained lifelong friends at CERGE-EI and meeting people from the institution feels like Homecoming.
5) Why should the alumni community be active?
I believe there’s no universal reason, so it comes down to each individual’s motivation. From the people I know, I think there’s potential to build strong relationships. Alumni can stay active in many ways, for example by donating, recruiting, recommending, sharing information, and sponsoring.
6) Why is it important that alumni connect and engage with their alma mater?
For CERGE-EI, the quality of this relationship is important to attract new generations of students, and attract new institutional supporters, i.e. to raise funds. For alumni, each of us has their own motivation. Perhaps the most common reason would be to help CERGE-EI provide valuable education to new generations, just like it did for us.
We wish Dragana all the best and hope we will live up to her (and your!) expectations about the new CERGE-EI alumni community platform.
CERGE-EI Development & PR Team