The Emerging Markets Alumni Connection (EMAC) is an initiative created in 2008 by the Kelley School of Business Emerging Markets Club in partnership with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations. The EMAC venture started in order to give current undergraduate students the ability to network with business leaders from Indiana University and gain a better understanding of international markets where alumni reside.
The program allows students who are studying abroad to apply their business acumen and establish valuable lasting relationships in an international business community. They also gain a better understanding of the specific challenges of working in the area, such as social standards and cultural differences.
Alumni also receive benefits from this program gaining exposure in their current community as well as helping their current company attract some of the greatest and brightest business talents. In addition, by connecting with students, they can establish a strong bond with their alma mater, even while living thousands of miles away.
How does the program work? The program begins once the Emerging Markets Club establishes a list of qualified students and alumni who are interested in becoming a part of the program. Once we receive the needed information from each party, we pair both members up based on a variety of factors including location, major, and employer. We then send each party the information about who they are making the connection with and we recommend that they complete one of the various suggested activities. These include, but are not limited to:
- Job shadowing for a day
- Tour of the alum’s place of business
- Friendly meeting (lunch, dinner, etc.)
- Visiting alum’s favorite destinations (shops, landmarks, etc.)
We understand that it is not possible to do these things in all situations, so keep in mind this is only a suggested list. Therefore, EMAC is a flexible program based on the needs of the participants, and thus students and alumni are free to do what fits them best.
There are also times where a student and alum are paired up even though it is impracticable for them to make a connection in person. This is due to the fact that there are not always alumni where the student is studying. Therefore, the student is matched up with an alum that resides in the same country and they can establish a relationship with them though email and phone.
At the end of the trip overseas, we would like to get feedback and a reflection from each student and alumni about their experiences. This is a great way for the students to appreciate the unique opportunity of connecting with others on a global scale. It also gives EMC the ability to make changes to the program and highlight all of those whose experiences were beyond expectations.