Mar 17, 2014 | Atlanta, GA
From military veterans to black alumni, Georgia Tech offers an affinity group for everyone. But there’s one major misconception about the groups — people think they’re just for alumni.
“The great thing about our affinity groups is that you don’t have to be a Tech grad to get involved,” said Debra Thompson, senior manager of the Alumni Association’s affinity groups. “All faculty, staff, and friends of Georgia Tech are invited to participate in the affinity groups.”
The groups got their start in 1979 when Tech band alumni decided to form a group to keep them connected to the Institute. Now, there are 23 official groups, including the Military Affinity Group, Black Alumni Organization, the Legal Affinity Group, and the Women Alumnae Network.
“Participating in an affinity group is an effective way to enhance your professional and social networks, share your expertise with the Tech community, and collaborate on campus events and projects with people who have similar interests to your own,” Thompson said.
Tina Payne, assistant director of cooperative education in the Center for Career Discovery and Development, has been a member of the Co-op Affinity Group for nine years.
“What I like most about being involved with the group is having the opportunity to see co-op alumni interact with current co-op students and share accounts of their respective experiences,” she said.
To join, people should contact the representative for the group they are interested in, Thompson said. Some groups meet monthly or quarterly, with gatherings including networking opportunities, speaker panels, golf tournaments, and student mentoring opportunities.