‘I see a lot of opportunities in the US’

| Michaela Nesvarova

The UT’s Alumni Relationship Manager Joe Laufer just returned from ‘a tour of the US’, where he attended a series of alumni events organized by the UT, TU Delft, TU/e and Wageningen. The main purpose: to reconnect with local ‘Dutch Engineers Alumni Network’ communities.

‘We have a very active alumni community in the US,’ says Laufer. ‘We started the Dutch Engineers Alumni Network together with other Dutch technical universities (TU) – Delft, Eindhoven and Wageningen – in 2014, which is when we did our last tour. Now we wanted to reconnect with the local alumni, because the US is very important for us. After the Netherlands and Germany, it holds the largest concentration of TU alumni – over five thousand.’

Four alumni gatherings took place last week in Washington DC, Boston, New York City and Houston. They included the total of 140 participants, 40 of which were former UT students. ‘We aimed to raise awareness about the network and the universities,’ continues Laufer. ‘We are on the same level as MIT or Stanford. People just need to be aware of it.’

'We are on the same level as MIT or Stanford.'  

Furthermore, the events focused on informing the attendees about all the ways the universities’ networks can help them and how they can help the universities. ‘The alumni network is full of talented people in high positions in various organizations,’ thinks Laufer. ‘Connecting with them could lead to new research opportunities or more possibilities for our students. For example, they could help arrange internships in the US. It can also help them to find partners or a suitable university for their children. The alumni were interested in educational opportunities outside the US and they are now aware that the UT offers almost all study programs in English.’

The recent visit was also a chance to evaluate activities of the Dutch Engineers Alumni Network (DEAN) and plan for the future, explains Laufer. ‘In the past four years we’ve set up DEAN communities not only in the US but also in Australia, Canada, Japan, the Nordic countries, Spain and Switzerland. We found out that the members would appreciate more connections between the individual communities. It was certainly a valuable trip. I see a lot of opportunities in the US.’  

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