Show Your Nontraditional Side: the Impactful Connections Between GS Alumni and Students

Office Hours with the GS Alumni Relations Team helps facilitate connections with GS alumni and students—and create community around a shared strength: nontraditional paths.

March 21, 2023

Over the past year, Office Hours with the GS Alumni Relations Team has been dedicated to helping current students connect with GS alumni in specific industries and fields. The GS alumni community is a valuable resource for students and are available to share their expertise, from questions about recruiting processes to advice on how to translate skills into a new career after graduation.

One such alumna is Orina Chang ‘01GS ‘04BUS, International Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley and a member of the GS Board of Visitors. When asked to give her best advice to current students navigating the workforce, Chang advised: “Show your nontraditional side, because you need to be different to be successful.”

It’s a well-known fact that GS students take nontraditional paths to Columbia, but being able to connect with alumni who have also experienced marketing their nontraditional backgrounds as their strengths is one of the goals of Office Hours.

Kaja Huruk ‘24GS, an applied mathematics major, was looking to connect with alumni working in consulting. She reached out to the GS Alumni Relations Team via our Office Hours Inquiry Form, provided the required information, and a member of our team was able to connect her with an alum currently working in management consulting. Of her meeting with a GS alumni, Huruk said, “The atmosphere was very open, I felt comfortable asking questions, and in general felt like they actually wanted to help me.”

Yasmeen Ibrahim ‘19GS, a Management Consultant at Accenture and a member of the General Studies Alumni Association (GSAA), is very familiar with navigating a career change. After working as a makeup artist for 10 years, Ibrahim enrolled at Nova Community College where she excelled in academics and served as president of the Non-Traditional Students Organization. Encouraged to apply to GS by a friend, Ibrahim began studying psychology and business management.

Sharing her unique path and experiences with fellow GS’ers is something she truly enjoys. “If I can help one person have a little bit more faith that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, or provide insight into a field as vague or broad as consulting, then I have paid it forward—and hope that others can also continue to pay it forward, which ultimately further strengthens our GS student and alumni communities,” she said.

If you are a current GS student interested in learning more about how to connect with alumni in specific industries and fields, contact the GS Alumni Relations Team.