Alumni Board Fostering New Relationships and Opportunities
Since being elected president of KGI's new Alumni Board of Directors in December, Darren Leva (MBS '05) has come to realize what a unique position KGI is in because all of its graduates go into the same industry.
"At some point, there is going to be a very large network of people in the same industry. Once we get up to the executive management level, we should be able to capitalize on that relationship stemming from our unique educational experience," said Leva, a regional sales associate for Althea Technologies.
Relationships are what the alumni board is trying to foster.
"We are trying to make sure that everyone is easily connected to the alumni, the Advisory Council and the KGI community as a whole."
The alumni board's March meeting coincided with meetings of the Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees.
One great thing that came out of that meeting, Leva said, was the realization that members of the Advisory Council wanted stronger connections between the two groups.
"The Advisory Council said they want direct access to our alumni. They want to be able to contact alumni when they're needed for jobs and they want to be contacted as mentors and for job opportunities. They're there to help."
Merlene Singleton, director of alumni relations, said it was really an accomplishment to have the alumni board participate in the meetings with the Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees.
"This was a goal we've had since the alumni relations program began, to grow and mature the alumni base and volunteer commitment to the point where they would be viewed by the Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees as an entity to be listened to and respected."
The alumni board has formed three committees: Admissions, Academics, and Alumni and Student Networking.
Ravneesh Sachdev (MBS '06), chairman of the Admissions Committee, said his committee's goal in the first year is to participate in at least two admissions events.
"We're going to help the admissions team basically by giving them an alumni perspective in terms of what to look for in prospective students," said Sachdev, senior manager of corporate development for Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Committee members also will have a chance to interview prospective students about the KGI experience and to share their success stories with them.
Matt Grunseth (MBS '08), chairman of the Alumni and Student Networking Committee, said his group is working on establishing an accessible map of all alumni and Advisory Council members by location, industry and job function to make it easier to get in contact with each other. Grunseth is manager of technology licensing at the City of Hope.
The Academics Committee, chaired by Garry Seid (MBS '03), is concentrating on identifying gaps in the current KGI curriculum and what alumni and faculty can do to fill them. Seid is a project manager for Amgen Inc.
The Alumni Board will be hosting a barbecue the night before commencement to socialize with new graduates and potential Alumni Association members.
By Elaine Regus