Professor Vincent Nijs teaches MSBA students
The global Rady alumni community has become even better connected during the pandemic. Over the past two years, MSBA students and alumni have developed a strong networking program to expand their connections within the Rady community—across San Diego, the Bay Area, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. As they graduate with strong quantitative and analytical skills and embark on their job search, students are connected with alumni working for industry leaders including Petco, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Kimberly-Clark, EY, Deloitte, and the Mayo Clinic.
In early 2020, Snehanshu Tiwari, Vishnu Sharon Ramesh, and Sakshi Sharma (all MSBA ’18) contacted MSBA faculty, offering their support to the graduates who would soon be entering the pandemic job market. Coffey Zhang (MSBA ’20), then a student, co-led the effort of matching alumni with current students based on shared interests, desired industries, or functions. Alumni volunteers met virtually with students to assist with needs including resume review, interview tips, and job referrals. “Essentially this is a long-term relationship you’re building,” says Zhang, who became an alumni lead for the program in 2021. “It has been a very fulfilling experience for me to help the students.”
Anshul Sachdev (MSBA ’21) was a student lead for the networking effort in 2021. When he entered the MSBA program in fall 2020, he began connecting with alumni and assembled more than 100 contacts to form a WhatsApp group called The Rady Alumni Interaction Network (TRAIN). Zhang, Sachdev and their co-leads’ efforts led to increased alumni engagement, and even more students supported in the initiative’s second year. Zhang says that Professor Vincent Nijs was instrumental in fostering connections across cohorts. “Without him being the glue between cohorts, we couldn’t have done it.”
Vishnu Sharon Ramesh, Data Science Tech Lead for Sinclair Broadcasting, was among the initial group of alumni who offered to help. “All the students I have interacted with have been very thankful, grateful and most importantly quite eager to learn.” He says, “The school propelled me to be where I am today and for that I will always be grateful. I will be extremely proud if I can contribute in any small way to the school’s future successes.”
Diego Amenabar (MSBA ’20) agrees, “As you can imagine, it has been an opportunity for me to expand my own network.” The Head of Advanced Analytics for Latin American retailer Cencosud says, “Usually, people only think about expanding their network by connecting with people with more experience, alumni, and so on. But there is value in expanding your network with younger people and from different cultures. You never stop learning.”
Success stories from the networking initiative are plenty. Sanya Khera (MSBA ’21), who helped organize the 2021 effort, was able to match with mentors who leveraged their Rady MSBA into product manager roles. Sachdev also had success, connecting with an alum who helped him secure a referral interview within a week of their first meeting. Organizers of this networking effort say that plans are already in the works not only to continue it next year, but to expand it, including to other programs. “All alums are assets for the school and for each other,” says Sachdev.