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Build your network with your Vanderbilt chapter

by Jan. 8, 2018, 2:42 PM

Panel of Vanderbilt alumni at DC networking event.
Seven alumni served on the Washington, D.C., entrepreneurship panel. They are (left to right): Brittany Watts, BS’12, co-founder of Nappie Goods; Brooks Garber, BS’04, MPP’06, founder and CEO of AcademME; Caroline Goggin, BA’09, founder of Upcause Public Relations; Ryan Walter, BS’09, co-founder and CEO of The Compost Crew; James Roper, BA’11, co-founder of Carvoodoo; Justin Cox, BS’04, founder and CEO of Atlas Beer Works; and moderator Trip Cothren, BE’10.

The Vanderbilt Alumni Association offers webinars and programs to help you progress along your career path, but one of the best steps you can take is to get involved with your Vanderbilt chapter.

While the Alumni Association hosts a popular annual Networking Night in 35 cities, alumni should not limit themselves to one event a year. Vanderbilt chapters, located in 42 cities worldwide, provide several opportunities to build your alumni network.

The Metro New York and Atlanta chapters offer networking breakfasts. “We hold about 15 breakfasts every year,” said Evan Savarick, MSF’12, president of the Metro New York Chapter. “We limit them to 10–12 attendees. Most people arrive not knowing anyone and leave with at least six new connections.” Savarick finds the breakfasts to be an invaluable way to make lasting professional relationships. “I am still in touch with some of the alumni I met at my first networking breakfast.”

Other opportunities bring alumni of similar industries together. The San Francisco and the Metro New York chapters have held technology entrepreneurship panels. Last October, the Washington, D.C., Chapter featured alumni who started businesses in the food industry, public relations, composting and educational consulting.

“Washington is a city of innovators, and this panel introduced area alumni to the Vanderbilt entrepreneurial community in the District,” said Teresa Temkin, BA’11, president of the Washington, D.C., Chapter. “We included time for casual networking before and after the panel, which opened the door for attendees to talk to like-minded individuals and make connections across the community.”

There is no reason to wait for a networking event. With Commodore Classrooms, community service projects, game-watching parties and other fun events, there are many ways to start making new connections.

“Since graduating from Vanderbilt, I’ve had the pleasure of being active with three different chapters, and I can tell you that on each occasion I have gotten to meet some amazing people that I would not have met otherwise,” Temkin said.

“All events are a great way to meet people,” Savarick said. “What is so amazing about Vanderbilt alumni is that everyone is looking to network, and everyone is happy to help everyone else.”


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