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The School of Management Alumni Association

Partnerships for Impact

You probably wouldn't be surprised to learn about the many networking opportunities that the School of Management Alumni Association (SOMAA) creates for members and nonmembers alike. You may even be linked to the alumni association's social media sites or a regular attendee at events like the Global Alumni Network Night, the golf outing or one of the professional development seminars that the alumni association hosts.

But did you know that the School of Management Alumni Association is a key partner in helping the school achieve its mission and its strategic objectives? In fact, the alumni association is often the first place others in the school go when they need assistance. Just ask the Graduate Programs Office, the Career Resource Center (CRC), the Development Office or the faculty, and they will tell you that SOMAA is their "go-to" source for alumni speakers, case competition judges, corporate champions, research partners and more.

Just take a look at some of the countless ways that SOMAA makes a significant impact on the School of Management:

Attracting the Best and Brightest

Photo: Nancy J. Parisi

  • Fellowships - Each year, the alumni association awards a two-year scholarship to an incoming full-time MBA student. Having a scholarship to offer to top prospects helps the school attract the best and brightest students.
  • Scholarship Gala - Each year, the alumni association is a proud sponsor of UB's premier fundraising event. Proceeds support scholarships for UB students in need.
  • MBA Sneak Preview Weekend - Incoming MBA students learn what to expect as full-time MBAs at UB. The two-day event includes a networking reception with business professionals, current students, faculty and staff, as well as a day of workshops and presentations. Alumni and funding provided courtesy of the alumni association.
  • Calls to Accepted Students - Alumni association board members reach out to applicants who have been accepted into the MBA program but have not yet enrolled. Sometimes a personal call from a successful graduate is all it takes to "seal the deal."

Real-World Learning

  • Executive Speaker Series - Designed to give students the opportunity to hear from senior executives (primarily alumni) who have excelled in their business careers, the monthly series is co-sponsored by the Graduate Programs Office and the School of Management Alumni Association.
  • Coffee Cup Conversations - Offered by the CRC in partnership with the alumni association, the Coffee Cup Conversation series is an informal, interactive program where guest speakers from a variety of professional backgrounds share their expertise with students on such topics as exploring career opportunities, strategies to succeed in the workplace, how to find the right fit and how to land the ideal internship or job.
  • Thank-You Gifts - When a faculty member needs a gift for an in-class guest speaker, the alumni association offers branded items to show appreciation for bringing the real world into the classroom.

Career Exploration and Recruiting Support

Photo: Robert Adam Mayer

  • Career Passport Program - The alumni association helps to supplement what undergraduates learn in the classroom through the Career Passport program. Offered by the school's Career Resource Center with funding from SOMAA, the program provides students with comprehensive and coordinated opportunities for career development, emphasizing the interpersonal and social skills required for success in business. Freshman orientation, the Sophomore Success Conference, a career planning and strategies course and the Shellum Speaker Series are just a few of the program's initiatives.
  • Employer Guide - With a contribution from the alumni association, the Career Resource Center produces a comprehensive guide to assist employers who are interested in hiring our graduates.
  • Network New York - Held annually in New York City, Network New York brings students who wish to work in the area after graduation together with alumni from the region to discuss a variety of career paths. The event is hosted by the CRC with support from the alumni association.
  • Network Buffalo - Same as above, but held in Buffalo with Western New York alumni.
  • Undergraduate and MBA Business Cards - School of Management students are savvy networkers, and having their own personalized business cards to give out at job fairs, interviews and professional events makes them even more so. Printing is underwritten by the alumni association.
  • MentorLink - Through MentorLink, School of Management students can contact alumni and friends who have agreed to assist students in career exploration and planning.

Showcasing Alumni and the School of Management

  • Buffalo Business Magazine - Producing an award-winning magazine that highlights the success of the School of Management and its graduates, students and faculty is an expensive proposition, but a generous annual contribution from the alumni association helps defray the cost and brings news and accomplishments to more than 35,000 readers.
  • Annual Awards Banquet - Hundreds of alumni and senior business leaders come together to honor the School of Management's Executive of the Year and several other award recipients at the alumni association's annual awards banquet.

Fundraising and Support

Photo: Tom Wolf

The alumni association works closely with the school's development team to support fundraising campaigns and initiatives.

With 100 percent participation in the annual fund drive, the SOMAA board demonstrates both generosity and leadership.

  • Dean's Fund - The alumni association presents a check to the school each year that can be used at the dean's discretion to support the strategic mission of the school.

The above is just a sampling of the many ways the School of Management Alumni Association adds value to the school. "The impact of our alumni association is incredible," says Arjang Assad, School of Management dean. "We are able to accomplish so much more thanks to the tremendous efforts of this group."

And by extension, all of our alumni are supporters too. Thank you for all you do.