Tables of tapas


After the Spanish soft rock music stopped pouring through the speakers at Emilio’s Tapas, Alumni Association Executive Director Christine O’Neill Singer, X’72, reminded the dozens of students at the mixer, sponsored by the Alumni Association and the Office of Minority and Student Affairs (OMSA), about the “alumni community, waiting to welcome you with open arms.”

Scanning the room, where undergraduates coagulated in cliques around food tables, Ten Chu, a part-time student at the Graduate School of Business, was struck by the generation gap. “These guys are all kids to me.” Richard Tung agreed with his friend that the event had a different flavor than GSB functions. Juggling an Ambar beer in one hand and a chicken kabob in the other, Tung said, “At GSB events, parents are there with kids in strollers sometimes.” Chu noted another difference: “There are a greater number of professions here too.”

Career paths were on the minds of the event organizers and the 130 students and alumni who attended. Interspersed between tapas-stained napkins, brochures advertising the “14,000 alumni strong” Alumni Careers Network littered tables in the private dining room. Ana Vazquez, the OMSA director and deputy dean of students in the University, also reminded the group of the Chicago Multicultural Connection, a new alumni mentoring program for minority students.

Tung was not overly concerned with flexing his mentoring or networking muscles Thursday evening. “Have you tried this potato thing?” he asked. “It’s so good—I’ve been eating it all night.” He had more on his plate to think about.

Meredith Meyer, ’06

August 9, 2005