Just after COVID-19 bacame a stark reality in Europe, Marjorie Sundström (2012) suggested that alumni should have an online chat to discuss all things COVID and on March 20th, we had our chat on MS Teams. We averaged 20-25 attendees that day with alumni ranging from the 1970’s up to graduates from the week before in 2020 and from Asia and Europe. It was so beneficial that we decided to make it a weekly event – never expecting that it would run for 14 weeks up to June 26th.
Our alumni in Singapore, China and Hong Kong were a few weeks ahead of us and were able to share what was happening there which was so beneficial.
We focused on specific topics for a number of sessions:
- Gillian Horan, The Pudding Brand Agency spoke about Navigating your Brand through this challenging time.
- Erin O’Neill, Serendipity Events in Dubai led a session on Event Planning post COVID
- Sanitisation practices post COVID
- SOP creation when businesses re-open
- Events and F&B Outlets post COVID
- Blathnaid Bergin led a great session on Wellness and Minding your Mental Health
- Ursula Connolly, Law Lecturer NUI Galway addressed queries from an Irish legal perspective around business in the time of COVID.
- Maurice Bergin discussed the topic of Sustainability as the worlds reopens from lock down – are we facing an Environmental Armageddon with the prevalence of single-use items in response to COVID?
- Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, Fitzgerald Woodlands Hotel & Spa and President of the IHF led 2 sessions on the Guidelines for reopening the tourist industry
- Dr Gerard Fleming, Head of Microbiology in NUI Galway gave his unbiased and scientific opinion on everything from social distance, face masks, chemical use for cleaning.
It was such a great support forum and allowed alumni whose paths might not normally have crossed, to connect with each other. It is certainly something we will continue every so often and all are welcome to join – just keep an eye on Facebook or LinkedIn for the invitation or let me know and I can ensure I sent you the invitation.