Office of Alumni Relations

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The Recent Graduate Council is an advisory board of VCU graduates from the past 10 years who develop engagement strategies to help peers connect with one another and the university in new and exciting ways. Meet three members. 

Stephen Steward Jr. (B.A.’14)

Why did you join the Recent Grad Council?
I wanted to join the Recent Graduate Council because I view it as an opportunity to give back. Having a few years of work experience under my belt, I am in a great position to help seniors and recent graduates prepare for the next step. 

Why should alumni stay connected with VCU Alumni?
Because not doing so means missing out on a diversity of opportunities — opportunities to network, to give back and to reconnect. Relationships with others enrich a person’s life and career. Staying connected with VCU Alumni is a great way to help accomplish this.

What are you looking forward to on the Recent Grad Council?
I’m looking forward to working with a group of individuals who want to give back to the university and also want to connect with our seniors and recent grads and find ways to address the needs they have. Hopefully, we can ensure that they are as happy with their decision to attend VCU as we are!

Katherine Mansfield (B.A.’20)

Why did you join the Recent Grad Council?
I want to be a part of something that students and alumni can be proud of and be intentional about building community and cultivating deeper relationships. What’s especially important is building resources that alumni can take advantage of. 

What advice do you have for recent grads?
I stressed myself trying to have it all figured out immediately. It’s important to build authentic and lasting relationships. VCU students and alumni are passionate people. Put yourself out there. It might sound cliché, but be brave. I’m a shy personality but I had to put myself out there and say yes. Don’t let fear or how you feel about yourself hold you back. 

What are you looking forward to on the Recent Grad Council?
I’m excited to meet new people. It feels like a second chance to build relationships. I’m looking forward to setting up new programming, resources and taking advantage of events. Contrary to what Western society tells us, humans are not meant to be isolated creatures. We’re meant to commune, share resources and find joy. This is a good opportunity to find that. There’s a lot of room for new ideas and creativity. 

Reeve Ashcraft (B.A.’20)

How did you know VCU was the school for you?
I transferred to VCU for the 2018 fall semester after spending my first two years at Richard Bland College. While in high school, I really didn’t think I would ever attend VCU simply because it was so close and I always envisioned going away for college. However, when it came time to transfer from Richard Bland, I realized that VCU had everything I was looking for: a rigorous academic curriculum, diversity among the staff and student populations, a well-designed urban campus that felt like a city within a city and so much more. I feel so proud to be an alumnus of VCU and will always be a Ram at heart.

Why should alumni stay connected with VCU Alumni?
VCU has so much talent and expertise among the alumni community that has the potential to provide tremendous benefits to current students and recent graduates. Having the same undergraduate or graduate educational experience unites us with a common bond. Building on that connection will open more doors for fellow Rams and provide more opportunities for networking and collaboration.

What advice do you have for recent graduates?
My biggest piece of advice to recent graduates is to take a deep breath and relax. Life has changed so much in the post-pandemic world, and it’s perfectly reasonable to be anxious or concerned about navigating the professional arena. That said, you’re a Ram, and because of that, you are capable of anything and everything. Put yourself in uncomfortable positions (like networking events, social mixers and get-togethers) and be willing to entertain new opportunities that you may not have previously considered. The world is big, but from my experiences, there’s always a connection ready to be made that’s just around the corner. 

Categories Alumni