Over the years, the WU Alumni Club had developed into a large business network. It acted as the first point of contact for its 4,800 members, who wanted to stay informed about their alma mater and regularly meet with other WU alumni. In 2018, we restructured our alumni work – the WU Alumni Club was disbanded and the alumni network was integrated into the newly established Corporate Relations & Alumni Services office on April 1, 2018.
55,000 WU alumni are now part of the WU alumni community, which includes all graduates of WU’s bachelor’s and master’s programs and the WU Executive Academy. This gives all WU alumni access to the WU alumni community network and the opportunity to stay connected to their alma mater. With this new service office, we want to further develop our portfolio of offers for alumni.
Thanks to the commitment of our alumni, we have been able to establish WU Alumni Hubs in 62 cities worldwide to connect with our internationally active graduates. The volunteer Alumni Hub Managers organize local events and regularly scheduled alumni get-togethers.
Wise Women of WU
Women are underrepresented in the top management of Austrian companies, which is why it is of great importance to WU to support female graduates aiming for a professional career. The new “Wise Women of WU” mentoring program is designed to help excellent graduates at an early stage in their careers.
We were able to recruit ten successful WU graduates with board, management, and supervisory board experience as mentors:
- Silvia Angelo, member of the ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG board of directors
- Elfriede Baumann, partner and managing director at accounting firm Ernst & Young until 2017
- Christine Catasta, Territory Senior Partner with PwC Austria
- Bettina Glatz-Kremsner, member of the board of directors at Casinos Austria and Österreichische Lotterien
- Sabine Hogl, CFO Hutchison Drei Austria GmbH
- Monika Kircher, member of the supervisory board of a variety of Austrian companies
- Sandra Kolleth, managing director of Miele Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia
- Tatjana Oppitz, Country General Manager of IBM Austria until 2017
- Regina Prehofer, member of the supervisory board of a variety of Austrian companies
- Birgit Rechberger-Krammer, President Austria & Corporate Senior Vice President Eastern Europe Henkel Central Eastern Europe GmbH
WU female graduates aiming for a professional career were invited to apply for a mentor. After a rigorous selection procedure, the best candidates were paired with a suitable mentor. Mentoring candidates and mentors had the opportunity to meet and get to know each other at the kick-off event on November 21.
WU Alumni Events 2018
In 2018 we hosted over 100 events for WU alumni to get to know each other, network, and socialize. Half of these events were organized by WU Alumni Hubs abroad. WU Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger regularly attends international WU alumni meetings – in 2018 she met up with WU alumni in Paris and Zurich. After a short presentation with facts and figures about WU, she answered questions about the challenges facing our university, recent developments, and WU’s internationalization strategy. An informal get-together rounded off the program. Marion Haumer, head of Corporate Relations & Alumni Services, visited the WU Alumni Hub in Istanbul.
In addition to our well-established series like the WU Alumni Tuesday and the WU Alumni Arts guided museum tours, we invited our graduates to career talks on networking and leadership in the new world of work. Workshops on data protection, LinkedIn, and Excel were also offered, as well as lectures by experts from the financial sector, the PR sector, and journalism, giving participants valuable impulses for their daily work.
WU Ball – Alumni Lounge
The traditional WU Ball was held in early January. 3,600 students, graduates, professors, and high-ranking guests of honor from Germany and abroad came to the Hofburg imperial palace for the event. The Alumni Lounge provided a meeting place for more than 650 WU and WU Executive Academy graduates from all over the world.
Graduations are happy occasions, so WU invited selected alumni to celebrate the anniversaries of their own graduation. On October 25th, graduates who completed their studies 25 years ago had a reunion at WU, and on December 12, graduates of the class of 1968 celebrated their 50th anniversary. Participants enjoyed seeing their fellow students again and exchanged memories. The reunions included a campus tour and words of welcome by WU Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger.
WU Summer Celebration – Alumni Lounge
The exclusive WU Alumni Lounge at the WU Summer Celebration was the highlight of the year’s social events for alumni. The festive summer evening gave alumni the welcome opportunity to meet up and chat with former fellow students and professors.