First Business Alumni Reunion Held in China
For DePaul alumna Quen Wang (MSA ’16), attending DePaul University’s first-ever business alumni reunion in China last April felt like “coming home.”
“I saw so many friends and professors,” says Wang, an audit associate in Deloitte’s Suzhou office. “This is a good stage for us to network with new friends to exchange ideas with each other. Everyone was excited and enjoyed it.”
Held at the Fairmont Peace Hotel on The Bund in Shanghai, the reunion and networking event attracted more than 60 alumni who live and work in China. Accountancy professor Hui Lin, DePaul’s associate director of regional initiatives for China, organized the spring gathering through a new WeChat social media group for DePaul alumni in China that she created with Li Jin, director of DePaul’s Chinese studies program. The online group has about 300 followers.
“We haven’t had a formal event like this before in China, and everybody was really excited to be reconnecting with other alumni,” says Lin. “Given the recent increase in our student population from China, this made sense. We’ve received very positive feedback, including interest in DePaul having another event in the future.”
The success of the Shanghai event has already inspired alumni in Shenzhen to organize their own reunion, which took place in May.
Lin hosted the Shanghai event with Associate Professor of Marketing Zafar Iqbal and Elaina Mack, assistant director of recruitment at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. While in China, the trio also connected with Chinese students interested in attending DePaul’s graduate business program. They answered questions about international admission, coursework, internships, career support at DePaul and life in Chicago. Lin notes that the growing number of DePaul alumni in China is a great career networking asset for Chinese students should they decide to attend DePaul.
Those alumni include Phoebe Shijun Li (BUS ’14), who traveled 300 miles to attend the April reunion in Shanghai. “I really appreciate Professors Lin and Iqbal for creating this awesome reunion opportunity for Chinese alumni,” says Li, vice president of marketing and sales at Honghai Glass Inc. “The reception brought us together from different industries. With this precious opportunity, we had a chance to (get to) know more people, learn from each other and reunite with our university professors and old friends.”
Kellstadt Enhances Program Offerings
The Kellstadt Graduate School of Business has made several moves recently to strengthen its programs and meet the evolving needs of its students. They include:
- Forming new corporate partnerships through DePaul’s Corporate and Employer Outreach initiative to provide on-site degree programs at area organizations. This fall, Kellstadt added MBA cohort programs at Bosch and Northern Trust, joining existing MBA programs at MB Financial, Fifth Third Bank, Walgreens and CDW.
- Relocating the DePaul Weekend MBA program to the Loop Campus this fall to be closer to prospective students, who increasingly work for companies based in the city.
- Expanding STEM-designated master’s degree offerings. This Homeland Security designation for science, technology, engineering and math-related degrees allows international students to extend their stays in the United States to pursue education and career opportunities.
- Introducing an MBA management concentration, which provides students the flexibility to focus their studies on coaching and talent development, consulting, leadership and change management, managing human capital or supply chain management.
- Renaming the Master of Accountancy (MACC) the Master of Science in Audit and Advisory Services (MSAA) to better reflect the expertise that students gain in this degree program.
“We are constantly enhancing our programs to meet the changing needs of our students,” says Assistant Dean Christa Hinton (MBA ’98, EdD ’12), director of the graduate business school. “Kellstadt is committed to providing programs that allow graduates to reach their professional goals and bring value to their employers.”
DePaul also has increased its combined degree offerings, which allow students to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees together. “Not only do I save time and money by earning two degrees at once,” says student Prima Bautista, who is pursuing a combined bachelor’s and master’s in accountancy, “but also the program will make me eligible to sit for the CPA exam and therefore more marketable and attractive to recruiters.”
Coleman Entrepreneurship Center Forges New Alliance
The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center (CEC) is partnering with the School of Music, College of Law and College of Computing and Digital Media to create a DePaul membership at 2112, a Northwest Side incubator for music, video and creative technology startups.
The membership provides faculty, students and alumni access to workshops, lectures, mentorships and other engagement opportunities with entrepreneurs at 2112’s two-year-old facility in Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood.
Bruce Leech (MBA ’81), executive director of the CEC, says DePaul is the first university to join 2112, which is named after an album by the rock band Rush.
“No matter what business or career you enter, the skill sets of entrepreneurship and innovation are important for sustainable success,” Leech says. “We believe by joining 2112 we will reach a more diverse group of DePaul students and alumni who are interested in starting a business in these areas.”
Scott Fetters, director of 2112, says that “providing DePaul University students with educational resources, physical workspace and real-world industry experience perfectly aligns with 2112’s vision to help define the future of the creative industries. It’s a privilege for 2112 to support DePaul’s long standing commitment to their students.”
The CEC also formed a new internal alliance in July when DePaul’s Center for Innovation (CI) was merged with the CEC.
“Integrating CI’s most successful initiatives into the CEC’s programming creates synergies that will boost engagement among the ideation and entrepreneurship communities they serve,” says Misty Johanson, interim dean of the Driehaus College of Business.
Management Professor Lisa Gundry, who directed CI, will continue to provide oversight for the innovation programs that have moved to the CEC.