Current OSU students urged to reach out to Alumni Association early

Alumni+Association+Early+Engagement+Director+Mamta+Chowdhury+in+front+of+the+Alumni+Center.+The+Association+provides+graduating+students+with+many+resources%2C+including+connecting+them+with+post-graduates+who+can+provide+their+expertise.

Jacob Le, Photographer

Alumni Association Early Engagement Director Mamta Chowdhury in front of the Alumni Center. The Association provides graduating students with many resources, including connecting them with post-graduates who can provide their expertise.

Kimberly Clairmont, News Contributor

Leaders within the Oregon State University Alumni Association encourage current students to reach out to the board before they graduate in order to support their future endeavors.

While the OSUAA is known for accepting large donations from OSU’s former graduates, they also provide more opportunities for current and former students to connect than just non-personal monetary donations.

The entire organization is composed of staff members and volunteers dedicated to finding ways for all 215,000 graduates to keep an emotional connection to OSU.

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John Valva, the executive director of the OSUAA, said, “Last year, for instance, we set the all-time record for the [highest] number of alumni volunteers who were putting their time and expertise and offering their networks back to OSU.”

Association members care deeply about helping current students make connections with former graduates who dealt with similar post-graduation obstacles before obtaining professional careers.

“The greatness of a university—particularly a public land-grant university—the greatness not only happens on our campuses, but it happens with the extension of the work of our graduates out there in their fields,’’ Valva said.

The OSUAA connects graduates who have experience in specific post-graduation fields of interest for current OSU students by holding numerous career panels.

“We ask those successful alumni—and I mean successful in a lot of different ways—to provide their expertise as to how they succeeded in their particular sector so that we can learn from it, and you and your fellow students can learn from them,” Valva said.

Recent graduates and current students looking to pay it forward within the OSU community don’t need to spend money buying an OSUAA membership to make an impact.

“We are interested and we offer to all graduates—and particularly new graduates—the chance to participate as either dues-paying members or just participants in our programs; you don’t have to give us money to benefit from the programs,” Valva explained.

OSU Assistant Director for Membership of the OSUAA Courtney Ball still recommends students acquire a membership post-graduation.

“After graduation, I would highly recommend it… By being a member we know the people who are actively seeking something from us, so we know who to engage with on a deeper level,” Ball added.

Mamta Chowdhury, the early engagement director for the OSUAA, encourages students currently attending classes at OSU to get connected early.

“Just reach out and have that initial conversation and see what you can get out of it because there is always somebody in the OSUAA, in the OSU alumni network, who’s willing to help, and it can be profound,” Chowdhury said.

“So take that first step, reach out, have a conversation and see how we can be a part of your journey as a student [and] as an alumni,” Chowdhury said.

Students with questions about programs and benefits offered to official members can visit OSU’s Alumni Association website.

According to association members, every volunteer, staff member and OSU alum within the OSUAA constantly expresses their strong desire to be a part of every OSU student’s journey before and after they graduate.

“That’s where our passion is, and the reason we do this is because seeing a student’s smile, seeing an alumni glow with finding another alum who thinks the same way or can help them—that’s what really is our passion,” Chowdhury said.