Past and current students gather at annual Alumni Brunch

Great food and even greater conversation through the MEng network

Each September, our Master in Engineering students and alumni come together at the Fung Institute in Berkeley, California to meet, mingle, and network over a delicious brunch buffet. Sunday, September 9, 2018 was a day of both introductions and homecomings, as past graduates returned to catch up with one another while meeting the current Class of 2019. Attendees spent the morning conversing over food and drink, wearing color-coded departmental ribbons and the occasional “I’m Hiring!” button to network and spark conversation with new acquaintances. 150 alumni registered for the event, representing 114 different companies. Over 250 people were in attendance.

Students and alumni converse over brunch in the Fung Institute courtyard

Two MEng graduates, Matt Zebiak and Nada Alameddine (MEng ’16) returned to the Fung Institute to deliver a keynote address at the Alumni Brunch. Matt and Nada are both engineers with General Motors — working respectively in vehicle performance and design — and flew out from Ann Arbor, Michigan to attend the event. The two imparted words of encouragement and motivation to the Class of 2019, reminiscing interview stories and their journeys to GM. “I have my dream job,” Matt expressed, “but all because I got on the plane and went to the interview.” It’s not just the networking that will land you the career you want, Matt and Nada explained. It all comes down to the everyday effort.

“We want you to get to where you want to be — today’s a great day to start doing that.”
Matt Zebiak and Nada Alameddine (MEng ’16) deliver a keynote the crowd.

Students and alumni were able to mingle with MEng staff and faculty at the brunch as well. Many graduates have maintained strong connections with their professors and Capstone advisors, and are actively involved in paying their mentorship forward.

“It’s heartwarming to see alumni from the first year of the program, like Chun Min Chin and Vincent Lee, doing so well their careers, and coming back for this event,” said Beth Leven, Director of Academic Affairs. “They understand the value of staying connected to Cal, and giving back to the current class.”

Wayne Delker, Executive Director, was especially appreciative of the time and effort that MEng alumni have contributed to the Fung Institute in their postgraduate years.

“It was a great event which brought together our alumni and current students to discuss careers and how to get the most out of the Masters of Engineering program,” he shared. “I feel we are truly blessed to have such an engaged alumni group who would volunteer to spend a Sunday morning helping our current students be more successful.”

“We are truly blessed to have such an engaged alumni group who would volunteer to spend a Sunday morning helping our current students be more successful.”

“It is my favorite event of the year,” adds Julie McShane, Director of Career Development and Alumni Relations. “Not only is the weather always beautiful in Berkeley in September, but the energy is high as current students are starting to explore various career paths, and alumni are enthusiastic about being back on campus to share their successes and lessons learned with the new cohort.”

Left: The brunch’s Crêpe Station was sponsored by General Motors. Right: Julie McShane, Director of Career Development and Alumni Relations, chatting with current MEng students.

The event commenced with food, drinks, and many new and valuable connections across all fields of engineering and leadership. Thank you to Matt, Nada, General Motors, and all who attended this year’s annual Alumni Brunch!

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