This article was contributed by current Haas junior and international student from the Philippines, Sean Go.
Throughout the academic year, students in Cal – especially those in Haas – network regularly. Sometimes it’s within the context of a social club, other times it’s in the formal setting of a company information session. While the intentions of these students may be different going in, the process of actively interacting with new people always builds relationships, which is an integral part of college life. In many instances, making a new friend is its own reward. In other situations, social capital can be deployed in the future to gain a competitive advantage in securing anything from first round interviews to corporate deals. In all cases, these relationships are mutually beneficial for the parties involved.
Following the same spirit, Cal Alum, Eric Tomacruz and current Haas junior, Sean Go, organized a Cal reunion for Filipino UC Berkeley students and alumni on January 3, 2013 in Makati City, Philippines. The event was held in Milky Way Café, a local hotspot professionals in the bustling business district visit frequently for its homey ambience and diverse Filipino cuisine. Among the dishes served were native favorites Lechong Kawali, Bistek Tagalog, and Adobong Kangkong. Diversity also manifested itself through the twenty-plus alumni and students who attended; some guests graduated in 1969, others are still currently enrolled.
On the alumni side, there were doctors, dermatologists, professors, venture capitalists, investment bankers, and business owners. While their career paths have turned out to be very different, the alumni shared an enthusiasm for all things Cal. Throughout the event, they recollected their university experiences – from first Bancroft Clothing purchases to last Big Games. Yet, they also learned about each other and how their education led them to their positions today. On the student side, there were business, economics, architecture, geography, and undeclared majors, all of who were eager to share their experiences and update their seniors on academic, social, and campus life.
At the end of the day, the event was more than just a networking function, it was a great way to rekindle old friendships and create new ones. Today, Cal is a globally recognized institution known for its academic rigor and reputation for propelling graduates to successful careers. Many alumni clubs across the United States, Europe, and Asia are active in maintaining, nurturing, and expanding their alumni networks. Tomacruz and Go hope this initial Cal reunion can help the Philippines start an alumni community and eventually learn from the existing alumni networking models across the world.