I still remember the talk during orientation where our group was told the importance of the school’s brand. How we were to go out and remember our school, the students, the professors, and the alumni. We were not just getting a degree, were were being meshed into a network.
I can’t deny that I was excited, I really was. I met second year MBA that were just great. They taught me how to improve my resume, how to go after interviews, they even connected me to other second year students that had worked at places where I wanted to work. I also met faculty and staff that lent a helping hand in finding a place for me. I can’t deny that I also met a few alumni, most older professionals that thought our program was great and wanted to contribute. The one group that I didn’t really see, were recent grads. The people that had graduate year before I started my MBA.
I didn’t give it much thought until I was a second year students, and there were first year students that I thought should meet recent grads that I knew, “my” second year students. I discovered that they were very willing to help, but few were being asked to contribute. They were recent hires, so there were in no position to extend offers. They had very little experience in the field they were working in, so I guess people didn’t think they were important.
I thought differently, I thought that they held key knowledge of how company’s recruited. They knew enough people to connect first year students. They were not influencers, but they were people of trust. They also had all the interview and resume knowledge and could critique the work of MBA Students. They are also the link to past generations of MBA Alumni, and that would grow the overall network.
It has almost been a year since I graduated, so I am a recent grad. I talked to the person responsible for Alumni Affairs and also to the head of MBA placement. I told them that I did not want to be the missing link. I wanted to continue being involved with new students and help in any way possible. I was particularly interested in international students, I being also an international student felt that I could bring some additional knowledge.
Over the past 10 months I’ve been trying to be involved with recruiting for Cummins. I have been able to meet wonderful students, and tried to make myself available to as many as I can. I don’t know all the incoming class, but I do know quite a few. I don’t believe in karma, but I do fell that we need to pay forward for all the help we get in order to get a job.
I would be more than happy to help our school. Regarding the interns, I would be more than happy to talk to them. Feel free to ask them to give me a call anytime and I can talk to them too. — Alumni
The other wonderful think I have discovered is tapping the shoulder of the Alumni Network. I have sent a not to all BYU MBAs at Cummins a personal note, just introducing myself. All have responded positevely. Next I have asked them if they would like to be involved in the recruiting efforts of the company; all have agreed. Right now I know of 15 BYU MBA Alumni that work for Cummins, imagine how the 6 interns this summer will feel when they will meet, face to face or virtually, all of these people. These are Alumni that want their peers to succeed, and before had not participated because they hadn’t been asked.
I now live the teachings from that day in orientation. I can see how I am part of a network bigger than my graduating class. Many times I struggle to expand my network at work, forgetting that there are alumni that are more than happy to connect with me and further my career. I also want to make it explicit that there is an onus on you to be available, to be open, to engender trust to your fellow alumni. It is my hope that we can all be more open and find that strength in OUR alumni network.