I am told that there is a tradition among Yale graduates that obligates them to make a professional introduction to a third party at the request of another alum. This obligation serves both as an entree and an endorsement–sponsored access to another alum’s valuable professional network that underscores the faith and confidence Yale alums have in each others’ talents, education and character. The introduction says: Like me, this women graduated from Yale and she will deliver for you just like I have done. Welcome her to your network of trusted associates.
Last week I attended two major functions at UNLV. Saturday was graduation. Thursday was the launch of the Rebel Business Network. Only a few people, mostly university administrators attended both events, but they are closely related. The idea behind the Rebel Business Network is similar to the Yale tradition. The network is a group of UNLV business leaders pledging to provide business opportunities to each other, hire other UNLV graduates, offer internships to UNLV students, and be ambassadors for the institution in the community.
The value of your degree depends largely on your actions and on how others perceive UNLV graduates. If you want to increase the value of your diploma, promote the success of your institution and your fellow UNLV graduates. With 70% percent of UNLV’s 100,000 graduates living in or around Vegas, the network can and should be a major asset to UNLV alums, especially those 450 LBS students who embarked on their professional careers last Saturday.
If attendance at the lunch is any indication, it appears people get it. The organizers hoped 40 people would attend the lunch. They got 200. If each member can get one other UNLV business leader to join the network each time there is an event, total membership in the network would exceed 10,000 by the seventh event. Think how powerful that network would be.
Engage in an act of shameless self-interest: join the network.