One year ago, we launched the CERN Alumni network, and what a year it has been. When the network went live on 8 June 2017, we knew there was a strong appetite for it, but what has happened since then has exceeded our wildest dreams.
At 3100 members strong and growing, the CERN Alumni network is every bit as inclusive as we’d hoped it would be. It’s open to anyone who holds or has held a contract of employment or association with CERN, with the result that some 57.5% of members have left the Laboratory for new adventures in over 80 countries around the world, while the remainder are currently working at CERN, most of them nearing the end of their contract.
Among the benefits that members enjoy are networking, intellectual entertainment and career development. Last week, for example, we held a very well attended event for those considering making the move from academia to finance. Increasingly, alumni are also taking things into their own hands, establishing local CERN alumni groups to add a social element to the mix. In Houston, the mayor even went so far as to declare 26 April 2018 to be the CERN Texas Alumni day.
The highlight of the network’s first year was the “First Collisions” gathering of some 360 alumni at CERN on 2 and 3 February. Participants were treated to a feast of presentations and discussions from fellow alumni. They had the opportunity to visit the Laboratory, and skiing was also on the menu. It was here that regional groups began to take shape and that plans were hatched for CERN alumni to participate in prestigious events such as WOMAD in the UK.
It’s been a great first year, but we’re not resting on our laurels. We want the network to grow and to blossom in ways that we can’t yet imagine. Help us spread the word, and if you’re already a member, join the conversation by sharing your stories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s keep the high-energy network buzzing!