Carlos Y. Vale, Elliot School of International Affairs, BA ’06 in International Affairs with double concentration in International Politics & Comparative Political, Economic, and Social Systems
City: Chicago, IL
Role: Co-Chair, Chicago Alumni Network
Profession: Director of Education – Robert Morris University Illinois
How long have you been volunteering with GW?
I started attending events in mid-2009, and took on the co-chair role in 2010.
What made you decide to become involved with your Regional Alumni Network and committee?
I was new to Chicago, after having lived in DC for five years. I met someone on a date who happened to be from GW, and that’s how I got involved! I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I almost turned around once I got to the building where the event was being held, but I decided to stay; I’m so glad I decided to stick around.
What has been the most rewarding part of your volunteer experience?
Outside of the volunteering activities, I truly love seeing people connect with either old friends, or even make new friends by way of the events we plan each year. Personally, I’ve made some amazing friendships; to see others form them as well, gives me great joy.
How do you think your involvement with your regional alumni network has strengthened your connection back to GW?
Truthfully, I didn’t feel very connected when I was at GW, probably because I was a transfer student who was very focused on working and attending school at the same time. Being involved here has really allowed me to reflect on my experiences at GW in a favorable way, and given me the desire to help others like myself who may not have felt connected while there, but can connect and have an amazing GW-related experience after.
Do you have a favorite @OnlyatGW story involving an alumni connection in your area?
I think it would have to be the one where I went on a date and happened to let my date know I graduated from GW, only to find out they did, as well. From that point, I’ve been involved non-stop, quickly going from just participating to becoming co-chair of the alumni network committee.
Why is it important for alumni to be engaged with their respective Regional Alumni Network?
You never know what is out there; it could be someone you knew while at GW, or possibly your next client or business partner. Maybe you are in need of a lawyer, or a real-estate broker to help you with the purchase of a home; whatever it is, you can find by way of your alumni network, and maybe even make some good friends along the way.