May 13, 2020 | By Alumni Relations | Back to news

An image of Grainger Hall with the words Alumni Voice PanelRecently, Wisconsin School of Business reached out to Business Badgers to understand how we could best support our alumni community during the pandemic. Hundreds of alumni from WSB’s Alumni Voice Panel shared how COVID-19 has impacted them. Here’s a look at some panel insights.

Alumni shared how they are feeling and how their needs are evolving:

  • Alumni feel anxious and stressed, but many also feel empathy and gratitude.
  • The biggest concerns for alumni are economic impact on the community and safety/security of the household.
  • Alumni said they most need security, connection, and a sense of purpose. They also said WSB can help with that by providing reliable information and meaningful activities such as volunteer opportunities or professional development.
  • Alumni shared that workplaces are digitizing and putting people first; they are pivoting to meet the needs of employees and customers.

Below are a few examples of stories and advice alumni shared for coping with COVID-19:

  • The best advice I heard was from an astronaut speaking on YouTube: Treat this time like a space mission and your house like a spaceship. Having a mission means having objectives of what you are going to do, learn, etc., and making sure you have a daily schedule of doing those things.
  • The best is going for walks in the neighborhood. Others are out doing the same thing—couples and families, kids on bikes and scooters, walking dogs. Saying hi, chatting from a distance. It gives me a sense of community, that we’re all doing this together.
  • While this is a difficult time with serious outcomes, it is also an opportunity to focus on those things we’ve been meaning to do but have been too busy. Whether that is reading more, cooking new things, spending more time with family, reconnecting with friends, practicing meditation, praying more, or anything else, it is an opportunity to do these things without the usually packed schedules. 

See more examples in this detailed report. Also, look for more in the future on our social media accounts.

We are grateful for our engaged alumni panelists and the valuable input they provide to help WSB improve the alumni experience. In response to these insights, WSB has launched new alumni programming:

  • Did you know WSB is making it easier to broaden your network by connecting with other resilient, hardworking alumni around the globe, right from your own home? Check out these upcoming small group video chats. Register and learn more.
  • Our new “Ask an Alum” series poses questions to business leaders across the globe, all connected by their education at WSB. You can find the series on the Alumni News blog. To share your insights in this series, please respond to these questions to be considered for inclusion.
  • Also, upcoming webinars and past recordings are a great way to develop skills and acquire actionable insights on relevant issues. Register and learn more.

We invite all alumni to join the Alumni Voice Panel annually. If you are interested in getting involved, make sure your contact information is up to date and look for the panel invitation in your inbox in the winter. Update your contact information.

Learn more about the Alumni Voice Panel and find answers to questions you might have about it.