CAIC VP Urvash Singh: Finding a Way to Give Back

With more than 1,500 members, the CEIBS Alumni International Chapter (CAIC) has been working to build a strong global community since its beginning in 2015. As a platform open to all CEIBS alumni, the CAIC helps connect members from different programmes and regional chapters around the world through a variety of regular events, activities and more. 2021 will be a big year for the CAIC as it prepares to elect a new core council this August. As such, it is time to reflect on some of the chapter’s highlights and achievements. In the final part of our four-part CAIC council interview series, we talk with CAIC Vice President Urvash Singh (CEIBS MBA 2014) about creating connections, finding a way to give back and working to improve the CEIBS experience for all of the school’s alumni.

CEIBS: Hi Urvash! So, what does the CAIC do and why is it such an important part of the CEIBS alumni community?

Urvash: The CAIC as a platform is very unique. We’re the only platform in China which is 100% English speaking. We connect all the different cohorts in the CEIBS alumni community on our platform. We’re connecting Global EMBAs, EMBAs and MBAs. CAIC is a community of 1,500-plus members out of a total of 25,000 CEIBS alumni. So, we are a very big community! We reach out not only to alumni, but also to a lot of prospective students who might be interested in collaborating or studying at CEIBS. So this kind of puts us in a very unique position to help the school as well as the alumni community.

CEIBS: What kinds of support does the CAIC provide for students and alumni?

Urvash: We have a lot of events, be it webinars, lectures or workshops. Just to give you an example, during the past year when everything was closed down, the CAIC was actually more active than any other alumni platform at CEIBS, holding regular events and seminars online. At the same time, we are working on a lot of other initiatives. For MBAs, we’re helping them reach out to the right individuals for their careers – whether it is to speak with somebody to help get a job or to reach out to somebody else to understand what a particular industry looks like. For Global EMBAs, if somebody is looking for some information or connections in a particular industry relevant to their job, we are collectively helping them with making the right connections. We also seek to enrich our alumni’s personal lives. We organise a lot of sports initiatives where we collaborate with different chapters in and around Shanghai – we have a yacht club and a football club, for example. We hold health and wellness seminars regularly. So, there are a lot of different initiatives, a lot of different events that the CAIC organises.

CEIBS: You have been a part of the CAIC since 2017 and currently serve as Vice President of the core council. Why did you want to volunteer to take on a leadership position in the CAIC?

Urvash: The initial reason why I started volunteering for the CAIC was as a way to give back to the school and to the community. I personally have, throughout my MBA, and even after that, gained a lot from the school and from this amazing community. I just wanted another platform to be able to contribute and give back. So, when the leadership role opened up, I just felt that it was something that I could concentrate on and give a lot more as a leader within the organisation.

CAIC council and Alumni celebrating after a successful Search Inside Yourself workshop (August 2020)

CEIBS: What has been the biggest highlight from your time with the CAIC?

Urvash: Every time we get together is a highlight, but some of the things that really stand out are that every year we organise two welcome events for our MBAs and our Global EMBAs – that is something that I enjoy a lot. It really brings out a lot of happiness from everyone, because, when you welcome the new cohorts onto campus, it is something that, as CAIC member and a council member, you really want to see. And it’s really nice to have all of these new alumni join us.

CEIBS: The core council is going to step down and a new core council will take over in August of this year. What is one characteristic that you will be looking for in that new leadership group?

Urvash: I would say that they need to be really passionate about the CAIC and what they’re doing, because it will take up a lot of your time. It is still charity work. We don’t get paid for it. We do get recognised by the school, and it is really nice to get that recognition, but you need to really have a passion for what you’re doing over here to be able to stay dedicated to an organisation like the CAIC. So be passionate, be patient and please be prepared to give it your time.

CEIBS: What is the one message you’d like to share with the rest of the CEIBS community?

Urvash: I would say, if you’re not already part of the CAIC, join us, because this is something that will truly, truly change the way you look at being an alumni and being part of an alumni association. At the same time, one thing that I would really like to say to all the alumni is a big THANK YOU! You’ve been a great help, a great support not just for myself, but the CAIC as well. So, thank you.

CAIC brothers and sisters from the Global EMBA, MBA and EMBA programmes during the annual Year End Alumni Dinner (December 2020)

CEIBS: And finally, is there anything else that you want to mention?

Urvash: As a council, we’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort to this platform and to the alumni associations and CEIBS. We have been working very closely with the school to launch initiative that benefit our alumni. So, if you have any ideas, please share them with us. We are very open in that way, to receiving feedback and working on new initiatives and new ideas. This community, this platform will continue. We only want to make it better and we will try anything that we can to improve on that experience.

For more information about CEIBS alumni and our global network of alumni chapters, please visit our alumni page here.