Alumni provide career guidance through IAS Mentor Chats

Badru, Castoriano, and Washington

All IAS undergraduate students take the course “Portfolio Capstone” during their last two quarters.  Portfolio Capstone provides a space for students to complete their learning/professional portfolios, reflect on their overall education, and begin actualizing their career plans.  In teaching this course, instructors have recognized the importance of connecting students to alumni, who provide an important perspective on life beyond graduation and the unique value of  interdisciplinary degrees.  Through the IAS Mentor Chats program, class visits by alumni are becoming a common practice in Portfolio Capstone.  Mentor Chats provide opportunities to connect with IAS alumni working across diverse roles and sectors, while assisting students with career exploration, networking, and learning about a range of professional trajectories.

Alumni find this type of mentoring an attractive option.  Mentor Chats provide both a wide audience and a chance to make individual connections.  IAS is grateful to the many alumni who are sharing their career journeys and advice with students.  Recent alumni mentors include:

Baba BadruBaba Badru (’08, Science, Technology & the Environment) is an Environmental Planner for King County.  Previously, he was a Health & Environmental Investigator working on a range of projects, including strategies to prevent and mitigate unlawful dumping of waste across King County. He is also a real estate broker who values protecting the environment while supporting customers in achieving their dreams of home ownership.  After earning his B.A., Baba completed an M.S. in Environmental Policy & Management with a concentration in Energy & Sustainability from University of Denver. He spent six years as a field and energy efficiency specialist with Puget Sound Energy coordinating energy efficiency initiatives in various communities in Western Washington, collaborating with manufacturers, retailers, and utility companies on promoting efficient energy systems.

Sarah CastorianoSarah Castoriano ('05) graduated from UW Bothell with a B.A. in Global Studies and minor in Human Rights and currently works as a program manager at Microsoft. After graduating Sarah worked as file clerk and church secretary before landing a dream job in the nonprofit sector managing operations for a local animal rescue. Hope for Horses played a key role in the first successful felony prosecution of an individual for livestock animal abuse in Washington state.  After two years and significant burn out, Sarah switched career tracks to tech. Over the past 10 years Sarah has worked across Microsoft in many different roles from admin, to business analyst and project manager, to finally landing as a program manager on the Universal Store team, which is the centralized platform for all of Microsoft’s ecommerce.

Brandon WashingtonBrandon Washington (‘15) focuses on membership engagement at Dale Turner Family YMCA, where he manages facilities and teen programming. Deeply committed to equity and inclusion, he’s an organizer for the YMCA’s Emerging Multicultural Leadership Experience conference and a member of the YMCA’s regional Diversity, Inclusion & Global Excellence committee.  While majoring in Media & Communication Studies at UW Bothell, Washington served as a Social Justice Organizer, creating and promoting a campus culture that respects and celebrates diversity through programs and events. Washington also operates a media production and event planning business.