Young Alumni – Rising to the Challenge
Tom Huber, MBA '06, and a Park Leadership Fellow, also “had a great experience at Johnson. I loved the diversity of offerings, and I met a wonderful group of people who were incredibly generous with their time, their advice, and even their personal networks.”
So when asked, both Aser and Huber stepped up to help ensure the future for others through the Johnson Annual Fund. In addition to making their own leadership gifts, both reached out to seek others' support for the Young Alumni Challenge – the chance to secure a $25,000 matching gift from an anonymous alumna.
The result: Johnson's young alumni raised $286,991 for the Johnson Annual Fund – an 11% increase over last year in a still-tough economy.
Aser, along with Executive MBA classmate Noel Fairbanks, contacted young alumni from both the Cornell and the Cornell-Queens Executive MBA programs. “More and more, EMBA classes are engaged with the university,” says Aser. “They understand the need to financially support Johnson, and as a result of the fantastic education they received, they want to help.” She and Fairbanks made the case for giving through emails and Facebook. She notes, “The challenge was an exciting and powerful message to convey to our classmates. The incentive of leveraging that $25,000 really helped.”
Huber, too, felt the challenge match represented an exceptional opportunity. “I'm usually reticent to solicit funds,” he says. “But since an alumna had put up the matching challenge, I thought it might be tactful and timely to remind people of the challenge and encourage giving. The school has a very large mandate: to keep world-class faculty, first-rate programming, exceptional extracurricular activities, and plenty of scholarship funding.” So he willingly wrote an email that went out to young alumni from the full-time MBA programs.
Huber, who is now vice president of Fidelity Business Consulting, is emphatic about the impact Johnson has had on him. “The curriculum taught me to be an integrative thinker, which has proven invaluable. The Park program is a tremendous asset, and I continue to carry the emphasis on personal reflection into my work and home life.”
Aser, who was recently promoted to business unit executive in software sales at IBM, is equally positive about her Johnson experience. “Leadership development, managing leaders and organizations, self assessment, and the model of the brand mantra – I took all of those into my life right away.”
Thanks to the generosity of Johnson's young alumni, Johnson can continue to invest in the programs and people that develop business leaders who create, transform, and sustain successful organizations around the world.