Discussion Group Guidelines

Effective as of October 2016

The Alumni Discussions Groups are e-mail lists available to the entire alumni community. Alumni can set and adjust their own discussion group message delivery preferences by logging in to the Alumni Network site.

We ask that everyone at the School use these lists with care and—because we do not actively moderate these lists—we rely on discussion group subscribers/posters to exercise good judgment and common sense when deciding what types of messages are appropriate. If you are unsure whether your message is appropriate, or need advice regarding what list is best-suited for your message, contact us via e-mail at [email protected] or call 212-854-8815.

JUMP TO:  How to Release Your Message to a Discussion Group |Job Search and Posting Tools | Usage Tips and File Handling | Best Practices

Guidelines for Sending E-mails to Discussion Groups

In order to maintain an open and courteous environment for all, please be sure to abide by the below guidelines. Users who violate these guidelines will receive a warning; users with repeat violations are liable to lose access to their Alumni Network accounts.

  1. There are 140 industry, geographic and interest-based discussion groups available for alumni to exchange ideas, network, and share expertise. They cannot be used for any commercial or philanthropic purpose not directly connected with or approved by Columbia Business School.

    Specific examples of appropriate use include:
    • Asking for a recommendation or advice within a particular industry
    • Sharing information about the relevant industry or topic, such as a New York Times article (not a press release from your firm)
    • Announcing an upcoming event related to the topic of the discussion group
    • Posting professional opportunities at your company which are relevant to the topic of the discussion group
    Specific examples of inappropriate use include (but are not limited to):
    • Promoting a business venture or advertising your company’s products and/or services
    • Announcing an upcoming event unrelated to the topic of the discussion group
    • Soliciting donations to your favorite charity
    • Posting your resume
    Alumni who use the discussion groups for gainful solicitations or who send e-mails with obscene or inappropriate language will be denied access to the alumni website.
  2. If you are interested in promoting your company’s product or service, please subscribe to and use the Open List-Marketplace and Open List-General discussion groups.
    • To buy and sell small products and services, make use of the Open List-Marketplace discussion group listed under the “Interest/Affinity” section
    • You can find the Open List-General dicussion group listed under the “Industry” section
  3. If you are interested in sharing investment opportunities with fellow alumni, please subscribe to and use the Open List – Investment Opportunities discussion group.

    Specific examples of appropriate use for the Open List – Investment Opportunities include:
    • Your search for an angel investor for your new company
    • Your interest in investing in a new green business in a specific national or international region

If you are unsure whether your message will violate these guidelines, or if you have questions about which discussion group is most appropriate to release your message to, please contact Alumni Relations at [email protected] or 212-854-8815.

How to Release Your Message to a Discussion Group

To use the lists, begin by signing in to the Online Alumni Community. Once you’re signed in, you’ll see a menu running along the top of the page. Select “Subscriptions” from that menu. This will take you to a page showing the lists you are currently subscribed to. Please ensure that the list you’d like to message is on this page.

If you do see the list you’d like to message, let your cursor hover over its name. A box will pop up showing the e-mail address of the list.

If you do not see the name of the list you’d like to message, select “My Subscriptions’ from the sub-menu, along the left-hand side of the name. The next page will display the names of all our discussion groups. You can add yourself to any of these lists by clicking the blue “Subscribe” button. To see the e-mail address of the list, let your cursor hover over its hyperlinked name.

To release your message to a list, ensure that you are sending the message from the e-mail account that receives all your Columbia Business School communications.

Please note that due to its security settings, Yahoo users will not receive copies of their own messages. Unfortunately, this is a result of Yahoo’s firewalls, which we cannot change.

If you experience any difficulties in releasing your message, don’t hesitate to reach out via email, at [email protected], or call us at 212-854-8815.

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Job Search and Posting Tools

If you are interested in searching for new employment opportunities or posting a job opening to the alumni community, please use the following:

  • Log in to the Alumni Job Board to search for jobs through multiple filters, including region, function, keyword, and application deadline. For more information, visit the Job Board FAQs page on the alumni website.
  • Submit job postings for experienced-level professionals by visiting www.gsb.columbia.edu/jobpost. Designate “Experienced Hire” as the eligible candidate type in the job-post form and you will target both alumni and EMBA students. This is the primary and best tool for recruiting Columbia Business School alumni. It is a free, self-service process and only the School’ community members will have access to your posting.

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Discussion Group Usage Tips and File Handling

These brief guidelines will help you get the most out of the School’s discussion group e-mail list functionality.

File Extensions

  • Most extensions that are used on a regular basis by students are accepted by the Community lists. These include, but are not limited to: DOC, XLS, PPT, DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, JPG, GIF, PNG, RTF.
  • However, the following extensions that are not allowed: MSG (message) files attached to the e-mail, EXE, COM, PIF, and ZIP files that contain any files with those preceding extensions inside of them. ZIP files that do not contain the aforementioned files are allowed. This is part of the central University’s policy on e-mail attachments.

Events and ICS files

  • You are allowed to send Outlook calendar invitations to discussion groups. However, to get a calendar invitation into your Outlook calendar, you *must* click on the ICS file link that is listed at the bottom of the invite and allow Outlook to open and process it. This will enable it to appear on your calendar. If you just open the e-mail, but do not click the link, you will not see the event in your calendar.

Size Limit

  • There is a 10MB limit on the total message size of e-mails sent to discussion groups. Any attachment sent to a discussion group e-mail list should be smaller than this limit, because the limit takes into account factors such as the e-mail subject, body, and the actual encoding of the message when it is transmitted.

More Information

  • Alumni Discussion Group messaging functionality works by stripping out the attachment from the e-mail you send and then saving it to a separate location. Your message is then sent out to the e-mail list subscribers with a link to that attachment’s location. This saves valuable disk space and processing time by not sending the attachment to each and every recipient’s mailbox and instead allows every user to just click a link to get to that same attachment. E-mail sizes are also smaller as a result and this allows e-mail to be transmitted more efficiently.
  • Existing discussion group e-mail messages cannot be attached into a new discussion group e-mail message. For MSG files (original e-mail messages), click forward and then send it to the list. As an alternative, you can open the original e-mail, select the contents, copy it, and then paste it into a new MS Word document. You can then save that Word file and send that to the list. These are interim solutions. The School’s Internet Technology Group will be working on an enhancement to the Discussion Groups to allow MSG files to be attached in the future.

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