Essay 1 on Social Activities

Former President of Beida Alumni Association Li Daxing once said, “We are one family. Let’s play together.”

Daxing is the one who helped Qi Xiaohe to spread the news about Fudan Centennial Celebration, informed Zhou Jiangang (Stanley) about the CFAA Centennial meeting, and relayed to Chen Wei the news about a 2007 Spring Festival Party hosted by Chinese American Healthcare Professional Association. I expressed my gratitude to Daxing by saying, “ We owe you too much to ask you for additional help.”

The leading Alumni Associations in Chicago are highly regarded by both Chinese communities and some mainstream American communities. People joined the alumni associations to meet old friends and make new friends. Outsiders do admire those who have alumni association to join. Once in a church Shi Yu (Sunny) and I were talking about Fudan Alumni Association. A friend commented that everyone can join a church, however, only a few people can join Fudan Alumni Association.

Recently CFAA experienced rapid growth in term of membership and profile. We are also entering the phase of strengthen ourselves through enhanced networking among members. Several informal groups of Fudan alumni used to interact with each other, now these groups were brought into CFAA. We also build several new alumni groups through hobby clubs.

CFAA will continue to grow as members are growing their social skills. Skill is not only the key asset to corporations; it is also the most important asset to an alumni association like CFAA. Also social skill is an indispensable asset to professionals in the current global market environment. In the next essay let’s talk about social skills

Essay 2 on Social Skills

Both corporations and organizations grow in stages. For start-up companies, they have to perform well at each stage to attract capital for their growth in next stage. CFAA has similar experiences in growing itself. Starting with few members, we have to perform well at each stage to attract more members. Now CFAA is reaching maturity and we are in a familiar environment since most people work in mature companies or institutions.

Corporations and organizations increasingly rely on soft asset. Social skills and social network are important soft assets.

The benefit of a social organization like CFAA is that in addition to providing social networking opportunity for members, it also provides valuable channel for active members to enhance their social skills. Each activity teaches us useful experiences, which make it easier to organize future activities.

CFAA is also reaching out to Chinese communities and some mainstream American communities. We are going to participate in the ACSE Spring Festival Dinner Party together with other six major alumni associations. This gathering is organized mainly by ACSE, with Xu Xiangdong and other ACSE people leading the efforts.

External social network is very important to CFAA, internal networking is also very helpful to members. I talked to Fudan alumni Zhang Juntao and Lu Xingliang recently. Zhang Juntao was former President of CFAA and Prof. Lu Xingliang was Vice President of the influential Chinese American Association of Greater Chicago. Prof. Lu left his full professor position in Northwestern University to join Zhang Juntao in a start-up company. This is one of the best social networking examples in Chicago Chinese community.

Social skills, internal social network, and external social network are the most important assets in CFAA. Let’s grow together with CFAA.

Wang Jian