UCL Alumni


Global Gatherings harness the power of alumni networking

14 December 2022

On 6 December, UCL alumni across the world came together to expand their professional networks, share meaningful conversations and hear from two keynote speakers about the value of alumni connections.

Tiled view from Zoom of alumni at Global Gathering events smiling at the camera

166 alumni, spanning the Classes of 1979 to 2022, attended from 56 countries across the world, from the UK to Mainland China to Colombia, Nigeria and beyond.

Hosted by the UCL Alumni Relations team, the Global Gathering events on 6 December included rounds of alumni speed networking in breakout rooms and keynote speeches from two UCL alumni: Linda Zhang (BSc Economics 2015) and Joonsoo Yi (MA United States Studies: History and Politics 2017).

Both great believers in the importance of networking, Linda is the co-founder of UniFuture, a start-up venture focusing on promoting Sino-British media/tech/business collaboration and career development, and Joonsoo is a Congressional Staffer at the US House of Representatives.

Joonsoo Yi and Linda Zhang


A global professional network to help you thrive

When it comes to networking, there is no better place to start than the UCL alumni community, with its immense network of professional contacts.

For both Linda and Joonsoo, alumni networking has been vital to professional success – not least because of the doors that their networks have opened to them.

Joonsoo, who was an international student at UCL, moved to Washington D.C. in 2019 to pursue a career in politics, where he knew no one. In his keynote speech, Joonsoo explained: “I had one goal: to get my foot in the door and get a job in Congress.”

Joonsoo described how, after reaching out to the UCL Alumni Relations team, he was put in touch with alumni based in the Washington D.C. area, which created opportunities that would benefit him in the long term. “This resulted in me getting an internship offer. It took more than 100 'coffees', but I got there. And it took another 150 or so meetings to land a permanent position. None of this would have been possible without the help of UCL’s amazing global alumni network,” Joonsoo said.

Throughout Linda’s career, the UCL alumni network has played a similarly transformative role. “I’ve truly benefited from the UCL alumni network,” said Linda, who also volunteers her time as a group lead for UCL's Chinese Alumni Club in London. “Through networking with alumni, I received support and tips that enabled me to find my first graduate job in London at Deloitte,” she explained.

At each subsequent career move, Linda described how UCL connections have paid off, from meeting a fellow graduate who would later become a business partner, to receiving professional expertise from alumni working in specific fields.

“Never be afraid to reach out to people” – Joonsoo Yi

In spite of its benefits, networking can feel daunting. To encourage and inspire their fellow alumni, Linda and Joonsoo both went on to share their networking tips and insights.

Joonsoo said: “If there’s one piece of advice I can give you, it’s this: never be afraid to reach out to people. The worst they can say is 'no'. Reach out to people even if they seem very high up and therefore inaccessible. Most people I met are chiefs of staff and Members of Congress—a lot of whom actually told me no one ever reaches out to them!”

Joonsoo also urged the audience not to “think of ‘networking’ as anything other than an ordinary interaction between two people, which you all already know how to do.”

During her keynote speech, Linda shared the many ways that alumni can stay connected, whether through digital means like LinkedIn or email; by joining a local alumni group; proposing and organising events or through sharing insights with an interest group or community.

Lifelong opportunities for connection

Following Joonsoo and Linda’s speeches, alumni moved into breakout rooms for rounds of speed networking. Over the course of two events, 125 breakout rooms were facilitated, giving alumni the opportunity to speak with as many people as possible.

Alumni exchanged stories from their student days, shared their career journeys and expanded their UCL networks. Alumna Claudia Pace (UCL LLM Law 1990), who joined from the US, said: “The UCL Global Gathering event was a true expression of what it looks like to be UCL alumni wherever one is around the world. I was inspired by the pathways others have travelled as alumni and grateful to UCL for continuing to provide opportunities to create connections and community.”

United in their shared experiences of studying at UCL, alumni found community across ages, continents and professions. Alumnus Moise Mbarga-Abega (BA European Social and Political Studies 2021), who is currently based in Canada, said: "A beautiful event which showed the strength of the UCL community, even post-graduation. Huge thank you to the UCL Alumni team for giving me the opportunity to connect with alumni working in the same field and others whom I wouldn't haven't gotten to know without having attended. Looking forward to the next events".


  • A fantastic way to connect virtually and build your own network with others in the global alumni community is to join the UCL official alumni group on LinkedIn.
  • If you want to connect with other alumni in your region, we can help you find groups and clubs near you. Visit the alumni groups page to find out more.
  • To keep up to date with future events for alumni, visit our events page.