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Virtual BAIS Alumni Reunion 2021: New Beginnings

What’s new, BAIS alumni? This summer, the BAIS Alumni Association hosted the yearly alumni reunion, organized in virtual format for the second time after the previous reunion also took place online in 2020. Feeling the need to compensate for the lack of in-person interaction, the Alumni Association prepared different activities to mark the occasion in an original way.

Inspiring speeches and (re)connecting with peers through interactive activities and casual conversations were all part of the program. We can only call this reunion a success, as some of the participants didn't leave the live room until 11 pm, 4 hours after the event started!

Bringing people together despite being physically separated

Nostalgic vibes and emotion filled up the Kaltura live room as alumni from different generations and across multiple time zones started to join. A big advantage of an online reunion is that it brings people together despite being physically separated. A loop of pictures from BAIS years took the participants “down the memory lane” for a few minutes before the official beginning of the reunion. The BAIS Alumni Association started the event with a welcoming speech, followed by inspiring words by Dr. Sarita Koendjbiharie, Dr. Maria Gabriela Palacio Ludeña, and 2015 alumnus Vlad Adam who is from the very first cohort of BAIS. Their speeches resonated with the theme chosen for this year's edition of the alumni reunion — New Beginnings. The three
speeches were undoubtedly the highlights of the event. “Don’t be afraid that things are wrong. Things fall apart, they come together again. Live to become. Embrace the possibility of constant change” was insightful advice from Dr. Maria Gabriela Palacio Ludeña. Especially helpful during COVID-19 times.

Catching up in breakout rooms with fellow alumni

The BAIS Alumni Association took the floor for two sections dedicated to BAIS facts and figures. A slideshow was prepared to help the alumni catch up on some major changes that occured since the programme started in 2012. There was also plenty of room for interaction between the participants; they had the chance to catch up in breakout rooms with fellow alumni from their
generation and mingle with all in the big group. Towards the end, a BAIS knowledge Kahoot tested how much the alumni still remember of what they learnt during BAIS. When was the Peace of Westphalia? Who's the father of falsification? Would you still remember? Congratulations to the top three who did remember and impressed us by getting most answers right! We hope you enjoy your Leiden University merch prizes!

Exchanging career advice, exchanging memories

This reunion was, unlike others, behind the screens but, like all others, about the people. It was an event dedicated to building professional connections, but, even more than that, to personal and social reconnection. It was about exchanging career advice, but also about exchanging memories. About success, about failures, about nostalgia, about the past, and about the future.
The BAIS Alumni Association invites all BAIS alumni to become part of the community! Follow them online for more related content and keep in touch!

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