IAJN – More than just connections
So I am writing this article with the same excitement as a week ago, when IAJN Alumni Launch Party happened. This event left me with more than just networking and exposure to opportunities, but what kept me excited until now, was how it bonded people together. Yes, that's right, it bonded the new and the old altogether.
Regardless of my employment title with IAJN, I am still a UK and Swiss Alumni. Therefore, I looked forward to this special event very differently from other members: the pure excitement of an International Alumni before an exclusive event for people like me, mixing with the anxiety as an organizer. And somewhere between this mixture of feeling, the surprise hit me.
I met a girl who used to be close friend back in 2007, when we both joined a 2-week Russian trip. We lost contact since I went overseas after high school, and she to US too. And here it was, close to a decade after, we crossed path again. Happy and just couldn't stop the conversation flow as if it was just yesterday when we last met.
And my story was not the unique one at this event. I saw so many Alumni screaming and calling each other's name in surprise, as if it was unbelievable to meet again, right there, right at that moment. Then I saw a group of US Alumni sticking to each other with so much laughter and story exchange (and they stayed until the very last minute of the event). To my surprise, it was the first time they met, yet feeling so close as if they have known each other for years.
It was the first time they met, yet feeling so close as if they've known each other for years
And that was exactly what I meant: this event rebond old friendships, and create many new bonds. As an alumni from certain region, you feel so connected to others who share similar experience, been through the same hardship in a foreign country, and once you left, you are now missing the same food, culture, or people of that land. Then, that circle extends bigger, includes Alumni from other countries too, but sharing the same stories we all have as young Vietnamese studying overseas. Different lands, similar stories.
Finally, when it came to our journey back to Vietnam, we all shared yet another similarity over challenges to a well-matched career path. Due to the lack of transparency, it is simply difficult for us to reach out to employers who WANT us, the locals who think global... That was when IAJN came in, a consolidated platform with opening vacancies targeting exclusively just International Alumni.
Fact is, although many of us members haven't tried using the job board yet (well, most of us are employed at the moment :D), but being there at the event, understanding IAJN's efforts to empower us in many different ways, was already a good start. Further than that, through the special bonds created and re-created at this event, as an International Alumni, I already feel attached to this special community. Using their job board, will just naturally be the next step when I seek for another career challenge some time in the future :)
*For more information, visit http://www.ia-jn.com/