This past weekend I went up to NYC for interviews. While there I learned of three Tech grads that were working in different firms in the city - DS+R, BIG and Grimshaw – too bad I didn’t know about them before I arrived. [image courtesy of graduating class 1950]
Georiga Tech, the institution, is known for its strong alumni association. But to be honest, I don’t feel like the Architecture College has maintained its ties to graduates. At no time during my stay in the program have I been connected to alumni. I am forced to build my own network through generous faculty and fellow students. It is frustrating to be interviewing at a firm and only after find out that someone form your institution was already working within the office. As an interviewee, it would be great to contact alumni to ask them questions about the firm and to maybe get tips for the interview. Alumni, handled correctly, could be a critical source of information for who’s hiring and what they’re looking for. They could also be a good resource for maybe housing students while they are traveling for interviews or helping them find a place to live.
In my 3 day trip to NYC I met two and heard of another person working within the city. Combined, the two I met had worked for OMA, Piano, Shop, Office dA and Bjarke! When I asked them about their communication with the college they seemed surprised. They said they don’t receive any information from the CoA, none. I ended up being their news source- informing them of our new chair and our new building. It would be reasonable to excuse them as old alumni- people that may have moved so much that they’ve fallen off the radar- however their story is similar to another. A good friend of mine [recent graduate, super dedicated student, and Alpha Rho Chi winner] Leeland McPhail has been complaining to me the COA’s lack of communication. He told me that he was on the chair search, but was only informed by students about the College’s final selection and was not formally invited for Dr. Johnston’s reception. He has also emailed the department numerous times, with no success, asking to be included in the lecture email reminders.
Even a motivated alumnus cannot keep tabs on what is going on within the school. Imagine the thousands of other alumnus we must be missing. What is going on here!?
I will do my proper research and report back in my next post.
A few questions in case any readers have answers: Who runs these alumni organizations? Is the institution very protective or strict about how to handle alumni? Could students/alumni be in charge of their on organization? What does Susan Sanders or Teri Nagel have to say on the matter?
[ alumni, COA ]