In March 2024, the new platform “Connect mdw” will go online and offer free networking for mdw alumni and other members of the mdw community. Those who register will be able to access contacts from the mdw’s network in a way that’s custom-tailored to their own desires and interests. Be it searching for former fellow students, finding a trumpeter for one’s own ensemble, or chatting with like-minded individuals about fair pay in the arts scene: Connect mdw offers a multitude of ways to engage in exchange.

Network When You Want, as Much as You Want

As the mdw’s new alumni relations hub, Connect mdw aims to enable graduates to be in touch with each other and with the University whenever it might benefit their everyday lives. The registration process makes it easy to enter the mdw network. Once registered, users can decide for themselves how intensively they want to use the included capabilities and tools. The platform makes it easy to stay abreast of what’s happening in the mdw network or also take a more active role in accordance with one’s own desires and needs. Irrespective of where one lives or how much time one has, the spectrum of possibilities ranges from chats to special interest group networking and on to mentoring opportunities accompanied by the Connect mdw team.

Flexibly Adaptable by Users

In response to the desires expressed by mdw graduates, this platform was conceived from the get-go to enable users to make themselves visible to others according to their professional and artistic skills first and foremost. In this way, Connect mdw can ease collaboration between individuals who may not yet know each other but want to be able to count on their respective levels of training. In addition to the entire spectrum of subject areas offered at the mdw, other personal professional skills and specialisations can also be indicated. A major strong point of this platform is its high degree of flexibility—and while its focus at launch will be on international professional networking and mentoring, a longer-term aim is to add other thematic fields in accordance with users’ needs. It will be possible, for instance, to expand mentoring offerings or open up further user areas aimed at specific professional fields or groups of individuals. For these further developments, the Connect mdw team is relying on feedback from and discussion with users. Those who are interested can contribute their ideas in open Zoom meetings; meeting dates and details will appear on the calendar in one’s personal account area.

Top-Notch Data Security and Independence

This system’s development was funded by entities including the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the City of Vienna, and the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF), and it is provided to Austrian universities as open-source software. This guarantees independence from commercial interests and thus the highest possible degree of data security. The underlying software is already in use at the Universities of Vienna and Graz, and its development continues on an ongoing basis. At the mdw, the platform is run by the Alumni Relations Office under the supervision of Katja Langmaier. Platform access is available to all individuals who have completed their studies at the mdw or spent a significant part of their student years, their working lives, or their academic or artistic careers here.

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