From Columbia to Outer Space

I’m heading to San Francisco at the end of the month to have dinner with School of Professional Studies grads who now live and work in the Bay Area. Claudia Lam, M.S. in Technology Management ‘10, will be talking to the group about her time at Columbia and how her degree has helped her become an executive in the aerospace and satellite industry.

As the Research and Development Manager at Space Systems Loral, Claudia touches on the skills she learned at SPS that led to such an exciting career:

The Technology Management Program has taught me the strategic thinking skills and business acumen to be an effective and successful executive. Dr. Langer, the faculty, and my mentor instilled confidence and leadership in me. Since graduating in 2010, I have been working in Silicon Valley. My training has helped me in shaping growth strategy for my company to compete in the fast-growing space industry.

What I love about our Tech Management program is how tightly knit it is with top leaders in the corporate world. We have over 150 executives available to pair with the right students, who then experience extensive, one-on-one, structured mentoring.

The beauty of the SPS alumni network is that we are bringing together such top talent between very diverse industries. In our constantly evolving workforce landscape, I’ve found that traditional silos are breaking down — a leader in the world of medicine now might have to work closely with a leader in finance. (And have cause to meet one another, to begin with!) I’m working to use our network to bridge these silos and create endless new opportunities for our grads. And this year, I’m making a point to meet as many SPS alums as possible. Together we can make one of the most effective, and most familial, networks of professionals out there.

We have two important resources to help you tap into the wider Columbia community as well. Columbia’s online alumni directory platform, the Columbia Alumni Directory, allows you to search across schools for any alum by name, location, and field of work. We also have a fantastic SPS alumni relations team working locally with our grads on getting everyone plugged in to all things Columbia and the great benefits and events our regional clubs offer. These two resources will allow networking opportunities not just within SPS, but with Columbia College, Barnard College, Columbia Business School, the Medical Center, the Journalism School, the School of International and Public Affairs, and many other alums after graduating.

Make sure to follow SPS on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to stay up-to-date on School alumni news and events.

I’m also looking forward to meeting with guidance counselors in the San Francisco area to talk about the Columbia High School Summer Programs. If you have children looking for a rigorous academic, Ivy League experience this summer, consider having them join us in New York, Barcelona, or Jordan.