Dear Graduate Students,
Your future selves are out there — graduate alumni of Berkeley. Some of them are very far from campus, oceans away, but they remain surprisingly close.
I spent a week recently visiting alumni at events in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Seoul. These events are always really interesting to me, because I learn about the many amazing things our students do after they graduate.
There’s quite a variety among the alumni I met with; they lead lives of scholarship, or start companies, or serve as university presidents, or — in one case, as a hobby — start a hopping Mexican restaurant in Seoul! But they are always keen to know what’s happening on campus. To some, I showed pictures of the many impressive new buildings were able to use (the Starr East Asian Library, Stanley Hall, the Li Ka-shing Center, the renewed Bancroft Library, the Music Library, and so on). The alumni are very nostalgic, being so far away. They also tend to be very keen on the latest rankings — a pleasure to discuss given our recent superb National Research Council results. They ask about budgets (generally increasing, except for the State contribution!) and also what the students of today are doing.
We’ll be learning more, soon and in detail, about the careers our doctoral students have after they achieve their degrees. We have developed and are about to launch an alumni survey that will reveal lots of information about career trajectories, current activities, thoughts our graduates have about their experiences on campus, and more. I hope we dispel some myths and raise more questions than we answer — not unlike my goals in my research!
It’s already been a busy semester for the Graduate Division. On February 9, we held our first Town Hall with the Graduate Dean to give students answers to a number of things they’ve been wondering about, and those questions and answers are posted online for your illumination. About a week later, we hosted an exciting symposium with key research leaders on the Berkeley campus and their counterparts in the Symantec Corporation, the huge information security and management company whose world headquarters is just across the bay. My Asia trip kept me away from our annual Distinguished Fellows Reception at the end of February, but I was ably represented by Associate Dean Rosemary Joyce at that festive event (of which you can get the flavor here).
Enjoy the spring weather.
Andrew J. Szeri
Dean of the Graduate Division