Amid the breathtaking backdrop of the New York City harbor, the Hudson River, and the sparkling city skyline, more than 200 William & Mary students and alumni came together for a remarkable networking event hosted by the Raymond A. Mason School of Business and the Boehly Center. The event, which marked a significant post-pandemic gathering, was organized as a boat cruise, offering attendees an unforgettable experience as they mingled, shared stories, and built connections against the iconic New York City panorama.
Professor Julie Agnew hosted the reception on the boat, which set sail on a sunny summer afternoon. The event served as a bridge between interns, recent graduates, and established alumni in the city, aiming to facilitate organic networking opportunities that would benefit all attendees.
Craig Armstrong, a board member and graduate from the Class of '92, emphasized the excitement he felt seeing the alumni actively participating in networking. He recalled that when he graduated, such opportunities were rare in the New York area. "It was truly enjoyable to see the enthusiasm of the 'next generation' of Tribe alumni, and it makes me very excited for the future of our business school and University," Armstrong said.
Armstrong also highlighted the value of in-person networking events, stating, "In-person networking events become much more personal and promote deeper connections. From a student perspective, I believe they can see that alumni are generally eager to help and very approachable."
Jon Lamb, another board member, echoed the sentiment of connecting with fellow alumni and students. "It was a great opportunity to reconnect with peers I hadn't seen, in some cases, since graduation and to connect with the next generation of William & Mary students and alumni," Lamb shared. He emphasized the value of these events for students, recent graduates, and established professionals alike, as they provide a relaxed setting to explore career opportunities and gain perspective.
Scott Gehsmann, another board member, emphasized the power of building trust through the common bond of William & Mary. "It was a valuable opportunity to connect, in person, with folks in the same market and industry, who have a common bond with the business school," Gehsmann explained, referring to the significance of such events in establishing trust among professionals.
Gehsmann also provided valuable advice to young attendees, highlighting the importance of work ethic and the thoughtful gestures that set individuals apart in their careers.
In summary, the boat cruise and networking event hosted by the Mason School of Business and the Boehly Center marked a triumphant return to in-person gatherings in the post-pandemic era. The event brought together generations of students and alumni, fostering connections and providing invaluable networking opportunities. With the resounding success of this event, organizers are optimistic about making it a tradition to unite William & Mary alumni in the heart of New York City for years to come starting with next year’s scheduled event on July 20, 2024.