New alumni programs and platforms add value

When the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) sent NIU students home in the middle of the 2020  spring semester, the College of Business quickly pivoted to remote teaching and unique strategies to replace in-class learning. Virtual activities and supplemental plans were launched to replace some of the Business Passport Program events. In June, we piloted an online speaker series, Wednesday Night Wisdom, to keep students, alumni and friends connected and engaged.

“We were very pleased at our business students’ willingness to engage virtually,” said Amy Buhrow, senior director of Strategy, Student Success and Accreditation. “Connectivity is the core of the college experience. We launched the Wednesday Night Wisdom series to keep our students, alumni and friends connected to one another and to learning, wherever they may be.”

Each year, the College of Business hosts nearly 500 alumni and business professional visits. With limits on face-to-face interactions, the Wednesday Night Wisdom online speaker series taps our valued alumni and friends virtually to share knowledge in a safe, interactive way.

“The NIU College of Business has an expansive and highly informed base of alumni and faculty — any one of whom could be described as an expert in any number of fields,” said Cassandra Young, College of Business director of Alumni Relations. “Time and time again, they have proven the value of their knowledge as consultants through publications, to students and to other alumni. We are proud and delighted to feature their expertise and perspectives in the Wednesday Night Wisdom series.”

“We launched the series slowly in June and have completed a few events each month,” said Rachel Schmit, senior event coordinator for NIU’s College of Business. “The live event is recorded and then edited for a downloadable future podcast.”

We are grateful to alumni for sharing a wide-range of topics, including tapping into networks during this challenging time, managing finances through retirement, cyber security, and leadership through a crisis. Our alumni and faculty members have stepped up to provide a wealth of information and are helping others to stay focused and productive on their business, school assignments, projects and personal lives.

Participate in our next Wednesday Night Wisdom at go.niu.edu/wnw.

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