Associates Programme: Taking Student Involvement to the Next Level
With the new Associates Programme, Esade Alumni has taken yet another step to get current Esade students involved in its global community of more than 67,000 alumni. Led by the Young Commission, the project allows students to discover the services and benefits enjoyed by Esade Alumni members and attend exclusive training and networking events so that they can start building their own career and network.
By serving as ambassadors of Esade Alumni, Associates become a part of something much bigger than a mere project – a community that spans the globe and shares a common identity, motivations and principles: building a fair, sustainable and responsible society.
Lifelong learning is a key focus of Esade Alumni. Therefore, we decided to celebrate the launch of the new programme with a masterclass on leadership and effective communication specially designed for students at Esade’s Sant Cugat campus. The session was led by Esade Alumni member Carmen Vallhonesta (Lic&MBA ‘98), a coach with more than 18 years of experience in international and strategic marketing and business development in different sectors and business models.
The masterclass was designed to motivate the students to internalise their role as Esade Alumni Associates, with the aim of leading and being proactive in their everyday lives. “The aim of the session was to meld the students’ personal purpose with the role of Associate through a role-play game that allowed them to have the experience from various points of view,” explained Carmen. “We wanted to show them how to work on their self-assurance in order to stay in touch with their motivations and remain focused and confident in their mission.”
The tone of the masterclass was dynamic and enriching, with a focus on raising awareness, encouraging participation and getting all attendees to open up. At the end of the session, the group enjoyed some networking time in a relaxed atmosphere with Carmen Vallhonesta, Young Commission President Paula García (MMM ‘19), and Laura Renna, Loyalty and Customer Care Manager at Esade Alumni.
Paula García (MMM ‘19), President of the Esade Alumni Young Commission
How did the idea for the Associates Programme come about?
The idea came from the Esade Alumni Young Commission, a group of Esade alumni under the age of 30 who work cooperatively to build a better future and are always on the lookout for ways to get young people involved and allow them to benefit from the community. Within the Young Commission there are different teams, one of which is focused on engaging with current students to facilitate their transition from Esade to Esade Alumni and make it as smooth as possible. In light of current social trends, we saw an opportunity to create a programme where students could act as influencers or ambassadors of the Esade Alumni association within their respective degree programmes. Since launching the pilot programme, we have recruited 25 students in the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), from 1st to 4th year, covering all sections (Catalan, Spanish and international). In the future, we hope to expand to other programmes.
What role does the Esade Alumni Young Commission play?
The Associates are the protagonists; they are responsible for sharing all of Esade Alumni’s activities with their classmates to help the community grow. They were selected precisely because of their motivational and enthusiastic profile. But they cannot perform this role alone, so the Young Commission is here to help and guide them. Internally, we have created the post of Esade Alumni Associates Coordinator, which is held by two very talented team members who are in constant contact with the Associates to promote team-building activities, training sessions and networking events, and to monitor the programme’s objectives.
Who can take part?
We opened a recruitment process for all BBA students. We sent out an announcement and set up a stand on the Rambla of Innovation to publicise the initiative. We received 50 applications. From there, we continued the selection process by asking the applicants to take part in group activities and record an introduction video. This allowed us to evaluate their performance as members of a team and assess their level of leadership and commitment. They are very happy and motivated.
What is the mission of the Associates?
To find out first-hand what Esade Alumni does, how they can participate and what services are available to current students, and then to get involved and spread the word.
What benefits do they receive in return?
We offer them training sessions and activities that they would not otherwise have access to. The kick-off session, for example, was designed to enhance the development of their soft skills, which are key competencies to reinforce an open and adaptable personality suited to today’s professional world. They will also be able to meet members of the Esade Alumni club boards, who are very interesting people for the Associates to share their concerns with. In short, they have the opportunity to join a community of people who are extraordinary on both a personal and professional level, with whom they can establish fruitful relationships for their present and their future.