Office of Communications
470C Wohlers Hall
College of Business
May 28, 2002 -- News Brief
CBA alumnus answers a need: Develops website for Andersen "alumni"
Jonathan Goldsmith, a 1997 graduate with a degree in accountancy, released a website in early May that is intended as a resource and contact mechanism for former staff members of accounting giant Arthur Andersen. The AndersenAlumni.net site helps laid-off Andersen staff keep in touch with former colleagues and lets them post questions or voice concerns in a discussion space.
A former Arthur Andersen employee himself, Goldsmith knew that many staff were instructed leave with their belongings on the day they were terminated, giving them no opportunity to say goodbye or to obtain contact information from friends and colleagues. In response, he outlined the structure and services for the AndersenAlumni.net website and contacted a personal friend with web savvy to create it. With a tagline of "a place where Andersen alumni can stay in touch," the website was initially expected to assist former Andersen staff in the Chicago area. It has grown well beyond the borders of northern Illinois, however. More than 700 people registered in the first 10 days the site was available and the number now stands at more than 800. Members represent much of the US and a few Andersen alumni in the United Kingdom. Goldsmith reports that he generally has 15-25 new people registering a day. Membership is free.
Goldsmith has received postitive press on the site from Crain's Chicago Business, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune and is awaiting word of the date for an interview and demo of the site on the local NBC affiliate. His mergers and acquisitions work for Andersen was a far cry from the development and promotion of the website that he calls his "current job." And, it is a job he is a little surprised to be enjoying quite so much. He expects to offered such expanded services as a discussion forum and public events information soon. Another feature being planned is a forum for posting resumes of former Andersen employees as well as job opportunities for the laid-off workers.
"I hope this website will be viewed as something positive that has come out of this ordeal," he commented. "I am really happy about the success of the site."