The EPFL Alumni association
EPFL Alumni, which has over 37,000 members in more than 120 countries, has been growing rapidly – nearly 50% of its members graduated in the last ten years. In 2020, the association welcomed over 1,100 Bachelor’s graduates, 1,000 Master’s graduates and 350 PhD graduates.
Despite the unique challenges faced in 2020, EPFL Alumni made further progress on its core goals of expanding the School’s alumni network and enabling graduates to maintain close ties with EPFL. The association’s 28 chapters around the world adapted to the difficult circumstances last year by shifting more of its events, communications and services online.
A key focus in 2020 was career development and job placement. Through EPFL Alumni’s mentoring program for Master’s students, carried out in conjunction with the Forum EPFL job fair, 149 students received personalized support from an EPFL graduate between May and October (bringing the total to 504 students since the program was introduced in 2018). Although the support had to be provided online because of the pandemic, more people from different countries got involved. EPFL Alumni members were also able to take online workshops, get personalized career advice and choose from a wider range of continuing education classes.
The Alumni Awards were handed out in an online ceremony in 2020 rather than during the regular Graduation Day ceremony. The winners were Robert Mardini, Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and Leila Schwery-Bou-Diab, Vice-President Value Chain Management at Janssen (a Johnson & Johnson company), who were recognized for their outstanding careers. Read the Alumni Awards article for more information
« EPFL Alumni also played an active role in promoting gender equality, a key issue for our School. »
Another highlight of the year was the Startup Champions Seed Night, also held online. This annual event showcases the most promising startups from EPFL and beyond. Thanks to the virtual format, more people were able to take part: some 900 viewers watched the event live in 2020, as opposed to the approximately 300 attendees who usually come to the venue.
EPFL Alumni also played an active role in promoting gender equality, a key issue for our School. At EPFL’s International Women’s Day event in early March, which was open to the general public, a panel of female graduates and students addressed an audience of over 300 people. The association also created a special women’s club among its members to provide mutual support and promote women’s careers, and carried out a survey of female graduates that obtained over 800 responses. The survey findings will be used to better understand the needs of this community and the specific career challenges they face.