Kansas City alumni network offers jobs, connections

Amye Buckley

When Jennifer Boyd arrived in Kansas City as a new graduate she found herself looking for work and more than that, looking for connections.

“The hardest part form me was that I didn’t know anyone in the area,” Boyd said. “I started figuring out that until I found some connections that I wasn’t going to get very far.”

She contacted family, former instructors and dean of the Robert W. Plaster School of Business Administration, Dr. Brad Kleindl.

“One day I get a call,” Kleindl said, “From Jennifer who is one of our graduates and she says to me, ‘Is there an alumni network for us, for me in Kansas City that I can tap into in order to be able to find some jobs’ and I said, ‘No, but I’ll get on that right away.'”

This spring, the school of business joined with the Missouri Southern alumni association to begin its Kansas City alumni chapter during a March 2 reception.

“We really had a good representation of the decades,” said Kim Gray, Development Director for the Rober W. Plaster School of Business Administration. “Because we had graduates from the ’60’s the ’70’s the ’80’s the ’90’s and the 2000’s.”

Gray, who helped plan the event, thinks bringing of faculty members to Kansas City for the reception was a big draw for former students.

The school of business sees many benefits to reaching out to alumni, opportunities for networking, mentoring and internships and a chance to catch up with former students.

“What it felt like,” Kleindl said, “Was a family reunion because you’re seeing not only some people who you’ve spent sometimes four years with, but distant relatives that, you’ve heard about but now you’ve seen in person.”

“It’s mutually beneficial to both us and our alumni,” Gray said. “And I think it will be something that continues and we’re committed to continuing with it.”

The next event will be less formal, with a meet and greet centered around baseball at a Kansas City T-Bones game.

“We thought we would begin with an activity, to get people thinking about Missouri Southern again.” said Elisa Bryant, Alumni Relations Coordinator.

Bryant plans the events, coordinating with the school of business as they extend to Kansas City and another baseball meet and greet in Springfield this summer.