Applied Information Systems Alumni Affinity Group launch
The Applied Information Systems (AIS) Department in the School of Consumer Intelligence and Information Systems (SCiiS) launched its Alumni Affinity Group, on Thursday, 31 March 2022. In collaboration with the UJ Alumni office, a hybrid evening event was put together to accommodate those who could not attend physically.
The launch took place at the School of Tourism and Hospitality, and all Alumni present were greeted with a goodie bag as they entered the room. This newly established affinity group aims to strategically increase our alumni members and improve on formalizing their relationship with UJ. This will be achieved through Alumni chapter volunteers, who are instrumental in bringing alumni closer together and providing graduates an opportunity to engage with a diverse range of alumnus and reconnect them to their alma mater. The chapters play a critical role in expanding connections among graduates, creating institutional network opportunities, and contributing to fundraising activities.
The chapter structure enables alumni to act in the best interests of the university voluntarily. Launching local chapters enables alumni to come together in a convenient, friendly, and consistent environment. Chapters serve as a source of information about the university’s objectives and strategic initiatives.
Dr Stella Bvuma (AIS HoD) shared her vision for the AIS Alumni Affinity Group: “In the spirit of departmental collaboration with the external (AIS Alumni), the department has been engaging with our Alumni over the past years in various aspects not only to connect, network and reimagine the future of AIS in the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), but also focusing on addressing societal problems through our teaching and learning programmes, research and community projects. This clarion call for launching the Affinity Group awakens our imagination about following our own alumni community at various levels from the spectrum of services they are currently involved in. Our desire is to forge this ecosystem of ensuring that through strengthening our collaboration with our Alumni we will successfully achieve excellent student success rates, retention, graduate output and progression to postgraduate study amongst other objectives.”
Prof Roelien Brink (AIS: Deputy HoD: CEP, SLP & Online) was the programme director for the evening. She highlighted that “the positive energy and willingness of our Alumni to be involve in molding our students for the World of Work is contagious that we can’t wait to walk this new journey with our Alumni’s.”
All dignitaries were present, inclusive of Prof Daneel van Lill (Executive Dean: College of Business & Economics), Prof Mercy Mpinganjira (Director: SCiiS), Mr Nell Ledwaba (Senior Manager: Faculty Coordination & Alumni) and the Alumni. The keynote speaker for the evening was AIS’s illustrious Alumnus Jessica Tandy (Partner at Bizmod, Co-Owner: African Talent Unearthed). She shared on her journey as an Almuni – from starting at UJ to becoming a business women. She reflected on how our education system and the youth as the future of our workforce have been impacted by technology advancements like social platforms and the psychological impact it’s having to them as a generation. She also touched on the shortage of women in technology still being an agenda needing attention. She called on the alumni to take their skills and experience as a collective and support the department’s initiatives in making the impact required.
Amongst the successful launch of the Alumni Affinity Group we look forward seeing the great initiatives and ideas that will be birthed and executed by the group.