Dean's Letter to Alumni Yields Significant Leads for Student and Alumni Jobs
On February 3, Dean Sharon Oster sent an email out to SOM alumni. Her message was simple: The economy is tough, and while SOM has fared better than some other MBA programs placing current students in jobs, help is still needed. Over the next several weeks, more than 150 alumni contacted the Career Development Office with potential leads and the number of job openings in the SOM database increased significantly.
The letter is one of several instances over the past two years where Oster has stepped in to help students during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Last year she donated part of her salary to fund internships for students at Yale. The February 3 letter, though, also fits in with a larger push to engage more alumni in CDO activities, not only as potential recruiters and employers, but also in terms of developing and advancing their own careers. "Throughout the current economic crisis, Yale SOMís alumni have been an extraordinary resource and source of support on the recruiting front," said Ivan Kerbel, CDO director. "We hope to continue to invest our resources ó via the CDOís expanded employer- and alumni-facing relationship manager model ó to take advantage of the enormous opportunity represented by alumni engagement with Yale."
Responses came from across sectors and industries. Alumni from American Express, GE Healthcare, Cisco Systems, the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, HSBC Bank, even new entrepreneurial ventures replied to Osterís email. Gary Frazier, a CDO relationship manager covering entrepreneurship, healthcare, marketing, and technology, said alumni provided him with promising leads for students and other alumni. "Despite the challenging job market, the alums I've been in contact with have been exceedingly willing to help us and have provided contacts and/or job postings that in a number of cases have resulted in an enthusiastic response from our students," Frazier said.
Kerbel said that offering help and advice to alumni would also yield long-term positive results for SOM by encouraging alumni to continue to be forthcoming with support for current students while continuing to enjoy access to career resources and guidance from the CDO. In recent months, the CDO has reoriented itself to better serve alumni and to create new relationships with alumni and their organizations. "We are grateful for the amount of enthusiasm generated by Dean Osterís message, and we are looking forward to continuing a high level of engagement with alumni beyond the current economic doldrums," said Kerbel.