Working the Kelley Network
“It's important to network with other IU grads in your same industry and city. You'll never know when you might need someone to help with a career change or offer industry expertise, or just to watch an IU basketball game with.”
When Todd Efthimiou moved to San Francisco a few years ago, he knew one other Kelley graduate in the area. Now, thanks to his involvement with the Kelley San Francisco alumni chapter, nearly all of his closest friends in the Bay Area are fellow Kelley or Indiana University graduates. He's currently the chapter's president and has served on the board for four years. “Right when I moved to San Francisco, I went to the Kelley Web site to find other alums in the Bay area,” says Efthimiou. “I quickly got asked to go to a Giants game with 20 to 30 other alums, and then was asked to be on the board of the chapter.”
Networking is Good
Efthimiou is involved with many events for Bay Area alumni—from an annual golf tournament to professional networking opportunities. “It's important to network with other IU grads in your same industry and city,” he says. “You'll never know when you might need someone to help with a career change or offer industry expertise, or just to watch an IU basketball game with.”
When Efthimiou moved to San Francisco, he was working for Gap Inc./Old Navy, where his main role was being a defect/project manager for an Oracle/Retek implementation. Additionally, he assisted in Old Navy's Design group's logistic move from New York to San Francisco. “Imagine moving hundreds of people and their computers to new offices,” he says, adding that he worked on helping users with various issues, from logon problems to system bugs.
Mutually Beneficial Relationships
Although he originally received his job offer from Gap Inc./Old Navy when recruiters came to Kelley during his senior year, Efthimiou deferred the offer for a year so he could receive his MSIS degree as well, a decision supported by the company. Though he already had a BS in Computer Information Systems, his MSIS experience, and particularly the Capstone project, gave him the real-world skills he needed for an extra advantage at his future job.
“The Capstone project was a huge help,” he says. “It was almost exactly like what I do now—go in, figure out the problem, then find a solution.” His five-person group worked with Nextel-Sprint, meeting with real clients as well as company executives throughout the course of the eight-week project. Certain aspects of the project made an impression on Efthimiou: the client's satisfaction with their work—“they actually ended up hiring one of our team members for a full-time position after graduation"—and the consulting experience.
In fact, at Efthimiou's current company, Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company, he was recently promoted from an analyst to a consultant. As an IT consultant, Efthimiou regularly collaborates with clients across five industries, including communications, high tech, utility and energy resources, government, and financial services and products. “It's great,” he says. “You're always learning something new and meeting great people along the way.”
And even as far away as San Francisco is from Indiana, Efthimiou knows that after work, he can always find another IU basketball fan.
Kelley's connections: “The Undergraduate and Graduate Career Services Offices have great connections with industry-leading IT firms and get them to come to campus for many different recruiting events and interviews. The companies want to recruit at IU because of the curriculum, strong work ethic, and excellent teachers.”
Advice for other Kelley alumni: “Use your Kelley network, come out to alumni events, and reach out to your local chapter presidents if you're interested in connecting with the community.”
Why Kelley: “Kelley's program was well-rounded and gave me the opportunity to meet many great people, build a strong network of classmates and recruiters, and have fun while doing it.”