You may recall if you've been following us for a number of years, that we did have an existing Alumni network which unfortunately fell away a while ago.
So, with the encouragement of two JA Alumni from Europe (JA is the European name for Young Enterprise), we were convinced to give setting up our new network a go.
Antonia Hoeppel from Austria, and Kristjan Erik Liive from Estonia took part in JA Programmes at school and were very keen to set up a network in Scotland while they study here.
A big difference between this shiny new network and the alumni network of the past, is that we are now linked directly to JA Alumni Europe.This means that there are more likely to be international opportunities available to our Alumni.
Our planning stages coincided with JA Europe Alumni's National Co-ordinators Meeting in Vienna. This NCM saw Alumni leaders from countries all over Europe from the Isle of Man to Germany to Serbia.
Since we haven't fully established an Alumni Board and neither of our European volunteers were able to make it, we sent along our (very) willing Programme Executive Lucy McOuat.
This trip was very important for YE Scotland to highlight to our young people and those involved with us that we are not an individual organisation working in solidarity, we are a part of something much bigger that has influence right across Europe.
So, Lucy put together a blog to outline her experiences in Vienna and to show that what she learned will be put to work in our new network.
We'll be releasing sections of this, so make sure you keep an eye on our News page to stay up to date!
First off, I was super excited to be asked to go to Vienna. I love that I already have the chance within my job to travel around Scotland and to London, so to go that bit further was really cool.
Getting myself organised was quite a job for someone that had never booked a flight or navigated herself around an unknown city on her own.
The initial worry I had about the NCM was how I would be welcomed as an 'outsider' to the Conference, the JA Europe Alumni network meets for various events around three times each year. These events pull the National Coordinators from each country together to catch up and discuss their own events and challenges they face
The beginning of the NCM on Friday didn't start until 2pm, so this gave me plenty of time to catch up on Alumni Networks across Europe and see where has an active network.
The first item on the agenda was an update from the European Board, where Sarah Rapp - President of JA Alumni Europe highlighted the main strategic pillars for the commencing sessions as Growth, Unification, Development and Sustainability. Sarah emphasised the importance of co-working with JA offices.
JA Europe serves as a link between JA Alumi and member nations.
Next, each NC took a turn to fill in the rest of the conference on how their network was progressing, what events they'd hosted since the last NCM and what they had planned. An interested point of this exercise was seeing how diverse the ideas were from different countries and also getting to see the size of their own networks.
We are lucky enough to be welcoming Sarah Rapp and Antonia Hoppel to Hampden park this Wednesday for our Company Programme Finals as part of our Festival of Youth Enterprise.
There, we'll be officially launching the network - so keep an eye out to find out what opportunites we hope to offer and how we hope to compare to the other European networks.
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.
Young Enterprise Scotland
Rouken Glen Centre
Rouken Glen Park