We’re rebooting the NP Alumni program—creating a powerful engagement engine for current and former members of the Nixon Peabody family. To kick off this new era, Chief Marketing and Growth Officer Danielle Paige and Partner Administration Manager Terri Pease sat down to discuss the future of NP Alumni, and how the pandemic has revealed the value of staying connected.
COVID-19 has forced all of us to change the way we work and connect with each other. What role can the NP Alumni program play as we reimagine the old rules?
Terri: NP Alumni’s superpower is connection—always has been. And now we realize that connecting with each other is more important than ever. Life moves quickly, unexpected events happen all the time, and people are increasingly mobile. Any thread that keeps us connected amid all this uncertainty is so important. NP Alumni is going to continue to be innovative and purposeful, to foster the connections our alums have made at Nixon Peabody as their lives and careers head in new directions—perhaps even back to us as a boomerang!
How are you building and nurturing connections with your team and other colleagues, at Nixon Peabody and beyond, during the pandemic?
Danielle: Like all of us, I’m spending a lot of time on WebEx and Zoom! These have become great vehicles for connection—professional, social, and familial. Before the pandemic I did conference calls exclusively, but now I do mostly video. I love that we have the chance to see one another in our homes, in workout gear, maybe having showered, maybe not, with kids, spouses and pets joining the calls. If I do take a call instead of a video meeting, everyone knows it’s because I am out walking my dog Hugo while talking. Our remote work situation has made us all more human, more accessible and intrinsically more connected through these scary times. I feel like our team has never been more connected.
All of us are working hard to keep our businesses strong in these uncertain times. It’s easy for connection, networking, and socializing to fall off our list of priorities. What will our NP Alumni members gain by making time for us, when the days are short and the to-do list is long?
Terri: There’s so much that NP Alumni offers!
- News about NP colleagues. Our people, past and present, are responsible for the success of our firm. Staying engaged with this community is a real thrill. We often hear from folks who left 10, 20 years ago who are still connected with us and doing great things.
- Updates on how NP is innovating. NP Alumni members are among the first to hear about all the innovative ways we’re building the law firm of the future. We’re working on things that I couldn’t have been imagined when I began my NP career 32 years ago, and I know many alums feel the same. It’s exciting to see what the future will bring, and I love to share my NP pride with our old friends and colleagues. Plus, alums are some of the best firm ambassadors!
- Formal and informal opportunities to stay connected. It’s hard to overstate the thrill of reconnecting with a friend. You can see it at any NP Alumni gathering. People walk in, they spot a familiar face–a fellow alum, or maybe a current member of the NP team. There are genuine and enthusiastic greetings, and then the conversation begins: “How are you? It’s great to see you. Tell me what’s been going on!” Before you know it, the room is humming with the energy generated by those connections. One of the things about “normal life” I’m really looking forward to is attending my next NP Alumni event.
Why is it so important to maintain connections with former colleagues through NP Alumni?
Danielle: Life is all about relationships and how we nurture those over time. Whether personal, professional, close or loose connections—relationships are the fabric of our professional and personal lives. An alumni network, while a formal structure, helps us to maintain relationships when we no longer work shoulder-to-shoulder with those colleagues and friends. We spend so much of our lives at work with our colleagues, blending our personal and professional lives. We build trust, inspiration and reliance on each other. A strong alumni network helps us to keep that connection strong when regular interaction is no longer part of our day to day. A great alumni network also gives us a place to champion former colleagues who have gone on to new opportunities, but were integral parts of Nixon Peabody.