SAA prepares students for the professional world


Sophia Sherman

Student Alumni Association

Allie Bunn, Staff Writer

The Student Alumni Association (SAA), committed to helping students’ personal and professional growth, is an organization at Westmont that seeks to develop, connect and empower students to confidently engage with the world around them. This career oriented group – composed of proactive students from every major – desires to network and connect with Westmont Alumni and leaders from every career field and industry of work to further career development for Westmont students.  

To become an SAA member, students must complete the common leadership application, and chosen contenders undergo a professional interview with SAA’s director and president, Sergio Hernandez. The professional interviews with the executive team aim to get to know an individual’s personality and goals as a student and member of the organization. SAA currently has 12 members, all highly ambitious, social and willing to commit to member obligations. 

In their two hour weekly meetings on Thursdays, an alumni is typically hosted and students are given a chance to talk with and ask questions to the alumni. Aside from weekly meetings, SAA holds events that members are expected to help plan, advertise and participate in. SAA member Ben Yeom says, “Throughout the semester, we put on mixers and speaking events where alumni or local individuals from different career paths come to Westmont.” 

These events have included speed networking events and a recent Q&A with local Chick-fil-A franchise operator, Travis Collins, about managing, marketing, sales and leadership. SAA has also contributed to student engagement and volunteer work by handing out valentine grams to students and serving at a senior fair. SAA’s next upcoming event is a mixer where Yeom says, “We hope to host as many students as possible to talk to over 50 alumni, getting to know about their careers and journeys from college to professional life.”

SAA grants its members many unique opportunities, such as direct connections with alumni. Yeom admits, “I have been able to get lunch and talk with many people, such as Austin Crowder who works in marketing at Zoom, and Liam Murphy who is a broker associate partner at Hayes Commercial Real Estate Group.” These leaders offer helpful financial planning advice, such as where to allocate money in stock or real estate investments.

Members can attain solid advice from political science and business veterans about graduate school, such as helping develop skills in preparing for the LSAT or an MBA program. In addition, Yeom comments, “Sergio Hernandez is very well connected and can offer students personal references to people in their desired career field to prepare for internships and jobs.”

SAA has provided countless Westmont students with professional help, improving their abilities to form questions during informational interviews and leading to better flow in professional and personal conversations. Experiences in meeting new people pertain not only to the business world, but also to the internal Westmont community. 

Yeom reflects that, “as an organization, we go out to dinner all the time and do fun activities. It’s a nice way to socialize and make friends with other motivated students on campus.” SAA offers the career-minded student an outlet on campus, exploring the possibilities of professional, social and personal life.

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