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Isabelle Ji Seon Jang, MBA ’16

Aug 07 2016

The Journey from Prospective Student to Alumna: Accessing the Johnson Alumni Network

Isabelle Ji Seon Jang, MBA ’16

I recently found myself swept up in a surge of emotion at Johnson’s 2016 annual gala, Party on Park: A Celebration of Business at Cornell. It marked the third consecutive year I attended the event: first as a prospective student, then as an MBA student, and now as an alumna. Flashbacks from the first event I attended flooded into my head. Many things have changed since then. Years ago, I attended Party on Park because I was curious about Johnson’s culture as a prospective student. Since then, I chose to attend as a leader in moving Johnson’s culture forward and in hopes of establishing new connections among alumni, students, and staff. Now, I successfully graduated from a full-time MBA program that provided me with a business education, wonderful friends, and endless opportunities for years to come. Once a bystander to the Cornell community, I can now declare that I am a passionate Johnson alumna.

Matthew and Dave Breazzano

Matthew Breazzano, MBA ’16 and David Breazzano, MBA ’80. Photo credit: Shelley Kusnetz

This year’s gala event was special for me, and Johnson, for two reasons. First, we celebrated Johnson’s newest infrastructural expansion project. Soumitra Dutta, dean of the Cornell College of Business and then dean of Johnson, announced a landmark $25 million gift from Dave Breazzano, MBA ’80, in support of Johnson’s new six-story classroom and office building currently under construction in Collegetown. Breazzano’s gift was one of the largest donations ever made to the school. He spoke humbly at the podium and said that none of this would have been possible without the education he received at Johnson. It enabled him to secure his first job upon graduation, and laid the groundwork thereafter for a successful career. Thirty-six years have passed, and he is now giving back to Johnson and supporting the education of its current students. Breazzano’s three sons are part of the Johnson alumni family as well. When the Breazzano Family Center for Business Education opens, Johnson students will have increased opportunities to interact academically and socially with one another and with other business students from across campus. The expansion of Johnson’s footprint into Collegetown will further strengthen Johnson’s ability to share its culture with fellow Cornellians.

Isabelle Jang, MBA ’16, Cholyong Cho, MBA ’98, and Austin Sohn, EMBA ‘17

Isabelle Jang, MBA ’16, Cholyong Cho, MBA ’98, and Austin Sohn, EMBA ‘17. Photo credit: Shelley Kusnetz

The second reason Party on Park was special this year was because the Johnson Club of Korea, led by Chulyong Cho, MBA ‘98, received the Henry P. Renard ’54, MBA ’55 Regional Alumni Club of the Year Award. Six out of the eight previous award recipients were from the United States, and this year’s recognition of an international club is significant in Cornell’s alumni history. The Johnson Club of Korea became the third international regional club to receive the award after the Johnson Club of China in 2010 and the Johnson Club of the United Kingdom in 2009. Kate Snow ’91, Anchor, MSNBC and NBC Nightly News Sunday and Correspondent, who presided over the event, described the Johnson Club of Korea as a great model for leadership.

On July 12, 2016, the Johnson Club of Korea came together in Seoul to celebrate its accomplishment. Cho, club president, played a video from the Party on Park event and shared his experience with fellow members. This meeting was meaningful to me because it was my first alumni event since graduation. The Johnson Club of Korea holds multiple official meetings and social gatherings throughout the year, including four formal events and two golf outings.

Johnson Club of Korea at the official meeting in Seoul. Kyung-Bae Suh, MBA ’87, President and CEO of AmorePacific, was the recipient of the L. Joseph Thomas Leadership Award in 2015.

Johnson Club of Korea

Johnson Club of Korea at the official meeting in Seoul. Kyung-Bae Suh, MBA ’87, President and CEO of AmorePacific, was the recipient of the L. Joseph Thomas Leadership Award in 2015.

For those students now beginning their journey at Johnson, remember that 15,000 Johnson alumni are ready to help and support you. Reach out and connect with them. They will light your way, and you will succeed.

Goodbye, Johnson. Let’s keep in touch!

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