USA Alumni Chapter In the Making - IBA Alumni Meet-up Across 6 Regions of USA

By: Nilofar Varzgani (Alumna 2009, BBA)

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It was some time around December 2015 that I got an email from Rehan Zafar (IBA alumnus 2004), about discussing the possibility of IBA Alumni USA chapter. It was nothing official, just a request of whether or not I would be interested in connecting with other IBA graduates who live in the area. Connect with IBA grads? Hmm, you mean reminisce the good old days sitting on the stairs next to the red brick walls, talk about how stressful hourlies were, remember professors who impacted our personalities and changed our way of thinking forever, share stories that still make us roll over with laughter? Sure! Little did I know that I will become part of a community, which not only provides IBA alums residing in the U.S. to share their experiences and stories, but also extends a platform to engage in networking, professional development, connect with other IBA alumni, and further IBAís values and mission Ė as a world class Institute. In general, pre-requisite of commencing any alumni association is the enthusiasm and willingness of several, diverse individuals willing to partake such an organizational initiative; supported by the passion of a strong nucleus of alumni leading the association's objectives and activities. Luckily, this group of 208 people that came together had these qualities. Because of which on 31st December 2015, the official IBA Alumni U.S.A Chapter was formed.

This is an initiative to create opportunities for alumni to become more connected and interactive with IBA, provide help and assistance to alumni in finding opportunities within the US and outside, mentor younger alumni and current students at IBA, and improve the image of Pakistan as its ambassadors. Soon after the formation of the official chapter, meet ups were organized and connections were extended. In a short span of just three months, IBA alumni started getting together for meet ups in different regions of the U.S.; from California to Texas, Florida to New York/ New Jersey, Atlanta to the windy city of Chicago. This just proves how strongly we feel about our ties with each other due to one common factor, our Alma mater. The biggest gathering organized was the one by the North-East group on January 2nd, 2016 where more than 20 IBA alumni got together with their families in Woodbridge, NJ. This was followed by meet ups organized in Dallas, TX on January 9th, 2016, Tampa, FL and Chicago, IL on January 23rd, 2016, San Francisco, CA on January 30th, 2016 and Atlanta, GA on January 31st, 2016. Whatís great about this group is that irrespective of the decade they went to IBA; everyone can still find something in common to talk about. Itís a valuable treasure chest of professional contacts, where there is a lot to give and to get. Since the formation of the chapter, much progress has been made including a draft for the charter of the chapter and the formation of the first steering and advisory committees. We hope to achieve much more and build a network that will not only benefit its members but also the institute that has shaped our lives, for the better.

So dear fellow IBA grads, donít assume that the benefits of going to IBA end when you walk across that convocation stage. The power of this community pays much more in lifelong dividends than one can envision. The IBA Alumni USA chapter has made me reconnect to my precious memories that make me nostalgic till date. Not only do I relive those fond memories with the fellow members, but I also cherish networking with some valuable professionals for potential opportunities that wouldnít have been possible otherwise. If nothing else, you may just find it to be the best way to stay in touch with old friends!