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MBS Alumni Welcome New Students During Semester-Opening “Virtual Friday”

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What is more gratifying than earning your MBS degree? Earning your degree and returning to share your wisdom, advice, and details about your career journey(s) with current MBS students.

Introduced as a series last spring, “Virtual Fridays: Alumni Career Stories" was an instant hit—returning this semester with a special “new student” welcome on September 4, 2020.

Hosted by MBS executive coach Abbe Rosenthal, the event featured eight graduates who represented a rich cross-section of MBS academic concentrations:

Like all “Virtual Fridays,” the event provided a great venue for alumni-student interaction. This time, however, interactivity was taken to a new level as students and alumni were able to interact in (virtual) breakout chatrooms for a standard-but-not-standard "get to know you" exercise. Within each group, four to five MBS students and one alumni leader were asked to answer the following four questions (question # 1, provided by Kelly Patraju ’20, will likely be featured in all future icebreaker activities):

  • What is your “spirit animal” and why?
  • What is one new thing that you did, learned, or achieved during quarantine?
  • What is your proudest accomplishment?
  •  Excluding  the answers “obtaining a job” or “advancing my career,” what do you hope to accomplish by earning your Master of Business and Science degree?”

Following the breakout sessions, the audience rejoined to share their takeaways—with “spirit animals” including sloths, butterflies, elephants, mules, pandas, whales, bears, turtles, dolphins, raccoons, rabbits, St. Bernards, and a phoenix.

Rosenthal and alumni then discussed valuable program enrichments available to all students—outlining the many resources and opportunities to map academic goals, discuss career goals, connect with alumni, and put learning into practice. Opportunities include:

Rosenthal then introduced Kelly Patraju MBS’20, who shared details about MBS’s new (soon-to-be-unveiled) mentoring program, which she is organizing and co-chairing (details to follow shortly). Through the mentoring program, students will have the opportunity to connect one-on-one with alumni members to discuss MBS-specific topics ranging from career advice to networking to job-searching.

Rosenthal and alumni discussed the Externship Exchange in greater detail, and, after a brief Q&A, talked about industry-specific lectures and opportunities for students to network with executives at regular events that include panel discussions, where expert leaders in personal care, drug discovery & development, analytics, and more discuss industry trends and developments.

Rosenthal then closed out the session with a “homework” assignment of sorts: a call to action for all attendees to move outside of their comfort zone with respect to networking: whether it’s reaching out to classmates, alums, and/or coworkers. She challenged attendees to complete the assignment within a week.

With that, everyone headed into the Labor Day weekend full of good energy and new information. Alumni members encouraged students to reach out individually—providing contact information to students. For more information about this session, please contact Abbe Rosenthal at abbe.rosenthal@rutgers.edu.

Jen Reiseman-Briscoe
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