By Lynelle Haugabrook ’14
We’re all aware of the reputation that proceeds us before answering, “where did you go to school?” The rigorous academic workload coupled with the influence of our alumni across the world make William & Mary a force to be reckoned with at any social gathering. I proudly waved my green and gold flag outside of the College but, on the inside, it felt hollow.
I had a non-traditional college experience. I traded dorm life and shared spaces for a house and room of my own off campus. Instead of keggers and parties, I was often working nights and weekends. I didn’t feel like W&M was my #Tribe until four years after graduation when I was introduced to our local alumni chapter.
Morgaine Beck was president at the time. We met at an alumni event where she invited me to join the local board… and the rest is history.
Since that fateful day, I have a newfound love for William & Mary. I discovered a group of people who matched me and countless others simply by sharing an alma mater. I attended shared business cards with my breakfast, watched the numbers grow on #OneTribeOneDay, cast my holly woes onto the yule log, and even served a term as president. The sense of community I found in our alumni chapter was what had been missing for me at the College.
For those of you (like me) who think you missed the boat now that your days as a T.W.A.M.P. are long behind you, it’s not too late. Sometimes all it takes is an online networking hour or follow up message on LinkedIn to make a connection. Whether you’re looking for a new career, to expand your network, a recommendation, or a couch to crash on when you’re overseas, never underestimate the power of connecting with our Tribe – at school, online, and in life.
Connect with Lynelle on LinkedIn.