When a JA Alumna or Alumnus has a good idea, be it for a product, a service or in their everyday lives, they're certainly much more likely to pursue with this idea thinking "well, if this is not yet existing, let's make it existing".
The many start ups of Alumni around the globe are proof for this way of thinking and also happened when Antonia Höppel left Austria to study abroad. She started missing the Alumni vibes up north in Scotland, though she knew the programme is being run there, too.
Getting in touch with Kristjan Liive from JA Alumni Estonia and Lucy McOuat from the YE office in Glasgow led to the presentation of JA Alumni Scotland by her and our president Sarah at the national finals of the YE company programme in Glasgow!
Antonia: "We are really happy we were able to make it happen and especially excited when we realized we had around 25 signups at the day of the event. I got contacted already, people seem to really want to be part of it so the response in general is super satisfying!"
Lucy: "I'm glad we went for it and hopefully we could be a role model for other nations thinking about founding a JA Alumni network!"
L: "In my opinion, it's hard to understand the vibe of those Alumni events when you only hear about it. But I definitely was amazed by all of this energy and the mentality was even better than I expected it. Before, I just kind of didn't get the point but now I'm convinced of the network's purposes!"
A: "After I moved to Scotland and wasn't able to locate any JA Alumni activity, I reached out to YE Scotland's CEO Geoff Leask, who was so "into this idea" from the first moment. Additionally, I contacted Sarah to let her know about the idea and put trust into our always helping facebook group. Funnily enough, that's how Kristjan and I got connected in the end and the amazing European Board helped us a lot shaping our ideas."
L: "We got to know each other during the meetings with Mark of YE Scotland as I work in their office. Everytime we met it felt like something just falls into the right place! In general, I was lucky to find the job at YE, which I loved from the very beginning, though I never attended the programme itself, unfortunately."
L: "It's really good, with all the European support and an official launch, they're so keen to finally get involved!"
A: "The big challenge will be getting in touch with the participants from the past, too."
L: "The company programme is being carried out differently throughout the UK's countries so it would be much more difficult to collect people from all over the islands and YE Scotland is acting independently from YE UK. So for the moment, starting with JA Alumni Scotland feels just right to start with and most of the feedback is happening here."
A: "I agree, we would be happy to go bigger in the future but for the moment we'd like to focus on Scotland as a country."
A: "Funnily enough, JA Alumni Scotland is being run by two non-Scottish students but this shows how the 'alumni virus' can spread and how we can work internationally. For now, Kristjan is the international coordinator, I am working as national coordinator and together we're looking for members to join the board. We get so much help from the YE office up here and working closely with them, especially with Lucy. First of all, we want to get hold of how the programme works in Scotland and then get some strategies ready to move further.
L: "It's a new situation for all people involved but we do have great things to share and the network would give us a platform to spread. I'm happy to help as much as I can and as people seem to be so into it, I can't wait to work on ideas how to foster the network in the future."
L: "On the long run, we want to provide a network for members to share their passion and help them developing their leadership by frequently engaging them in events."
A: "Make it sustainable, as Kristjan and I are going to leave the country eventually. Taking the next few months into focus, we want to make people want to sign up and make them curious about what's going on so that our first meeting, which we would like to have in September after the conference, is going to be a success. A handful Scottish Alumni are also joining the big crowd in Tallinn!"
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Our Vision is for Scotland to be a place where all young people are given the opportunity to have a rewarding future in work and life - no matter where they start
Our Mission is to inspire & equip all young people to learn, develop and reach their full potential through enterprise.
In everything that we do, we will work with the following values: Integrity, Enthusiasm, Creativity & Collaboration.
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