The Power of Connections

Kim Cassidy speaking at podium

Dear Friends: One of my favorite moments at Reunion is the Parade of Classes. Watching generations of graduates connect across a common educational experience and a commitment to excellence never fails to give me goosebumps and fill my eyes with tears of joy. While my reaction is emotional, I understand that this connection across generations is more than a sentimental bond. Bryn Mawr College has a strong network of over 25,000+ alumnae/i ready to lift up others in their time of need. Not surprisingly, this year’s Princeton Review ranking for the top 20 best alumni networks at private colleges listed Bryn Mawr as #11.

Bryn Mawr’s alumnae/i give back to the College and to each other through formal programs and informal efforts. Alumnae/i Relations and Development and our Career and Civic Engagement Center foster so many ways for alumnae/i to channel their passions into hundreds of volunteer and connection opportunities— here on campus and around the world.

In fall 2019, these two offices launched Mawrter Connect, Bryn Mawr’s online professional and personal networking community. Alumnae can connect with students, other alumnae/i, faculty, staff, and friends of the College to share career advice and insights. There are already thousands of alumnae/i and hundreds of students registered.

One recent connection made through Mawrter Connect was between Alisha Pradhan ’13 and an undergraduate who reached out for information before applying to an internship at Alisha’s consulting firm. “Since we have a small network compared to most schools,” Alisha says, “any career resource we provide can go a long way and be very meaningful.”

Alumnae/i have also used direct connections with faculty, Career and Civic Engagement Center events, our LinkedIn and Facebook Groups, and Handshake, our online recruitment tool, to source interns, hire employees, or seek advice.

Dana Gold ’18 spoke on a 2021 campus career panel and connected afterward with fellow alum panelist Adrienne Webb Schulman ’11. Adrienne answered Dana’s questions about a potential career change and helped Dana prep for a successful job interview at a nonprofit where Adrienne used to work.

Tabi Haller-Jorden ’81 has used many pathways to recruit Mawrter interns, including Handshake, which helped her find four students to develop strategies for a global nonprofit this past summer. Katy Blanchard ’00 recalls accepting more than 30 Bryn Mawr interns over the years, some of whom serve via the Praxis internship program. “I always find it a positive experience to work with students as they are learning what they want to do,” she says.

As current senior Bryn Osborne says, “One of the reasons I came to Bryn Mawr was the strong alum network. In my experience, Mawrters are always willing and eager to help out current students!” I hope sharing these stories will inspire others to contribute to, or benefit from, the Bryn Mawr network. I feel grateful to witness the impact of this network and am inspired every day by the passion of our students and graduates to make a meaningful difference in the world and to uplift others in the process.

With best wishes to all,

Kim Cassidy