Grads on Grads on Grads

As our time here in the Valley comes to a close, we have come to learn how special the Villanova Alumni network is.  On Wednesday night, we headed into San Francisco to have dinner with some recent Villanova graduates over some Thai food.  Around eight graduates showed up voluntarily to give insight as to what it was like to start their careers at Villanova and make their way to Silicon Valley.  I got the chance to speak to two VSB Class of 2014 graduates and one COE Class of 2016 graduate.  Each of these individuals explained to me and others in the cohort the benefits of being in the Bay Area, their individual career paths, and what made them chose the West Coast as opposed to Villanova’s East Coast.  They also talked about the strong Villanova Alumni network out in California which I didn’t know is as strong as it is.  The COE graduate was actually on the Villanova in the Valley trip in the past so it was great to get his perspective on what the trip was like for him and how it pushed him to work in the Valley.  Overall, I had a great time talking to the alums during this dinner because it was a relaxed environment which made it easy to ask questions and learn more about what life is like out here for a recent graduate.

After our more casual networking dinner, we had our Alumni Reception at Facebook the following night with our keynote speaker, Carolyn Everson.  Before Carolyn’s Q&A session, we were able to network with many people such as alumni, current/prospective students, parents, and people we had seen throughout the week.  One conversation that I found to be the most interesting was with Jon Farhner, the CEO of BumeBox.  During this conversation I was able to ask him questions that I had not been able to before.  He explained to me the background around BumeBox, which we had seen earlier in the week, and I found it to be extremely interesting.  Not only did I talk to Jon Farhner, but I also spoke to many parents of students who were so excited to hear about our past week and what opportunities Villanova has to offer.  Once we got to Carolyn’s Q&A, everyone was extremely excited to be hearing from one of the key players at Facebook.  Carolyn is currently the VP of Global Marketing Solutions, and she explained some of her roles in a little more depth.  As a Villanova alum, she described how her education and values learned at Villanova made her into the successful woman she is today.  It was truly great to hear her speak because she was so well spoken and had great tokens of advice for the cohort.  I think that the Grads in Action Dinner and the Alumni Reception were great ways to bring Villanova in the Valley to a close by helping us take the information and tools we learned throughout the week and applying them by making connections with those who can help pave our career paths.  As I mentioned before, I truly found myself appreciating the alumni network that Villanova has to offer to its students.  It is certainly a priceless asset that Villanovans appreciate and sustain for the next generation of Villanovans.