Reinforcement of central alumni
07 May 2012
With 25.000 alumni and ten per cent of them overseas, Lund University is now investing in a reinforcement of central alumni coordination. Karen Paulson, from California, has started working on international alumni in particular.
“I still get emails from my high school and of course from my university, UCLA” where I did my BA, she explains – confirming the strong alumni tradition at American higher education institutions.
Karen Paulson is part of the international investment being made at External Relations and which involves strengthening contact with and between both current and former students of Lund University who are now in other countries.
She sees herself as a catalyst and thinks that her main task is to enable international alumni to find each other.
“Once that is done, my thinking is that they should manage the rest themselves. That they should start networking and being helpful within each other’s sectors and professional categories”, says Karen Paulson in Swedish.
She came to Lund for the first time in 2007 as an exchange student via LU’s oldest programme, the California exchange. It was love at first sight.
”I love Lund, and what’s more it was an excellent programme”.
Already in 2009 she was back as a master’s student in applied cultural analysis (MACA), and she has remained in Lund since then.
At LU’s External Relations, Karen Paulson now works mainly on organising alumni events in connection with missions abroad of others from LU, such as University management, fundraisers or international student recruitment officers.
“We jump on the bandwagon and organise a reception and lectures in the hope that news about the event will spread to alumni in the location, via the alumni network, word of mouth or social media”.
In the autumn, three such events were organised in the US – one in Stanford with the Swedish Institute and the other two in Los Angeles and New York together with Fundraising. In Los Angeles, the alumni event was organised in connection with a Lund seminar on packaging technology and ecology.
“All the events attracted a lot of people and the Chamber of Commerce and the Swedish Consulate also took part”, says Karen Paulson.
This spring, there have been similar events in Bangkok and Istanbul and Washington, Beijing and Shanghai are still to come. Karen Paulson is also planning an international calendar on the internet and a regular newsletter for alumni.
Text & photos: Maria Lindh
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