Isn’t it true that giving back to those who have played a role in enabling your current state of progress makes you unintentionally strategic, questions columnist Saahil Waslekar
Giving back, just the thought of it, creates a wonderful feeling. One does not have to be a philanthropist or member of a foundation in order to give back to something, someone or some place that is of appeal to them. My reference is specifically to Lund University and the city of Lund.
Putting in perspective, chances of feeling thankful towards an experience will depend on the depth of association in the past. For instance, as a student of Lund University you might already be giving back through student activities although as an alumna/ alumnus, giving back goes beyond sharing a feeling, it is an act of sharing new insights, new possibilities and grander unions. Alumni complete the knowledge ensemble by sharing their professional experience with students and faculty. Such renewed association bears a mindful and strategic bond for the long run.
There is no way to identify how a strategic alliance based on feelings might play out for the benefit of students, alumni or university, although, I have few ideas to explain ‘strategic gratitude’. These ideas are omnipresent, in the city of Lund. Here are my top 3 ideas that should have already been executed by now, in a sequence where alumni play a greater role
- Alumni Bank – Lund University alumni reach esteemed heights in their career upon graduation. The university already has an Alumni Network page. A slight modification once alumni update their ‘professional experience’ field is for the system to link this field with current student profiles and programmes where they are studying. This will result in an alumni bank to the benefit of existing students.
- Chicken Soup for the Lund University Soul – It would be wonderful to have alumni and every current student write one page each, about their time as a student at Lund University. Current students, already write a ‘one year at Lund University experience’ statement for scholarship application. Hereby, this point can easily be extended to include alumni and launch a never ending online book of experiences and memories.
- Feature Film – Lund University is the most amazing setting for a feature film. The world needs to know about this student town and the wonderful things that happen here. The tradition, culture, practices and energy needs to be shared with a mass audience. Oxford University, University of Cambridge, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and many others have served as the prime backdrop in films.
From all of the above ideas one thing is clear – if executed by students or alumni, these actions will be considered as gratitude, if executed directly under the purview of the university, it will be considered as marketing. To say the least, giving back contains strategic benevolence.