Sixty attendees gathered for Penn State Great Valley’s first in-person “Coffee and Connections” — an event previously only offered remotely — earlier this month. A collaboration between Great Valley’s Career Management Services and Office of Development and Alumni Relations, the event provided an opportunity for students to connect with alumni and other professionals.
“The campus Knowledge Commons was full of energy during the Coffee and Connections event,” said Karen Carli, associate director of Career Management Services. “I was excited to see so many students take advantage of this great opportunity to build their professional networks.”
Several Penn State Great Valley alumni and advisory board members spoke with students about their career paths, the impact of a Penn State degree and more. The speakers included Master of Science in Information Science graduates Jeffrey Lipson, CEO of Layer 8 Security, and Waliyu Adediran, systems engineer II at UHS Inc of Delaware; Master of Professional Studies in Data Analytics graduates Gauravi Patil, decision scientist at Red Hat, and Shahed (Sim) Mahbub, manager of market and data analytics at Techdow USA Inc.; MBA graduate Sai Tikkani, continuous improvement manager at Globus Medical and Great Valley Alumni Society board member; and Penn State University Park College of Health and Human Development alumna Cerise James, principal at Tilghman James Group, LLC, and a Great Valley advisory board member.
Attendees also enjoyed refreshments, took professional headshots in the campus’ One Button Studio and received Penn State Great Valley insulated travel mugs.
The campus received funding this past year from the Peter Weiler Family Endowment in Advancement and Philanthropy with a goal of expanding and enhancing alumni engagement. The Coffee and Connections event was supported by the endowment and provided the opportunity to foster new relationships and outreach to the community.
“It was amazing to see the lasting connections being made between the Great Valley students and alumni,” said Jade Veit, alumni relations and stewardship officer. “One of my goals for this event was to bring Great Valley alumni back to campus to increase engagement, and we did just that. I was thrilled with the outcome of this event and look forward to hosting more in the future.”