’Canes come together for Global Networking Week 2023

Events in 18 ’Canes Communities around the country gave alumni the chance to connect, engage, and discover opportunities for mentorship and personal and professional growth.
’Canes come together for Global Networking Week 2023
Miami ’Canes gather for Global Networking Week 2023. 

“The engagement was off the charts, and the willingness to help each other was overwhelming.”

That observation, from Hector Munoz, M.B.A. ’05, President’s Council member, and an active member of the Los Angeles ’Canes Community, aptly summarizes Global Networking Week 2023, held in February. 

More than 1,150 guests attended events hosted by 18 ’Canes Communities around the country. The events spanned a wide spectrum, from professional development lectures to more informal networking gatherings like a bonfire party and TopGolf session.

Kicking off Global Networking Week was a virtual program, Building Your Brand, hosted by the Washington, D.C. ’Canes and introduced by Maribel Wadsworth, B.S.C. ’93, president-elect of the University of Miami Alumni Association.

The program’s highlight was a conversation with MacKenzie Green, B.S.C. ’10, vice president of social media for Who What Wear and Clique Brands, and immediate past president of the Young Alumni Leaders Council. Award-winning marine biologist Erica Towle, B.S.M.A.S. ’10, Ph.D. ’15, moderated the conversation with Green. 

Green shared her professional experiences, emphasizing the importance of taking charge of one’s career and personal brand—especially in an uncertain economy—and not waiting to be noticed. “I graduated in 2010, and like the later covid-era graduates, we came out into an unstable job market,” she recalled.

Green studied broadcast journalism at the School of Communication and planned to pursue a career in sports broadcasting. “I was going to be an ESPN anchor but found myself in a small boutique financial advisory firm,” she said. “The first time I sat in a meeting, I thought ‘these guys are making no sense,’ so I used what I had learned taking complicated sports plays and making them relatable and accessible. I took that [skill] with me into the financial space and turned the ‘quant-speak’ into plain English.”

As the youngest person in her office at the time, Green “raised her hand” when an executive wondered aloud how to make Twitter work for the business. “The mark of a social media job is that a lot of us decided to manage our companies’ Facebook pages, and here we are, a dozen years later,” she said. Green later started her own social media and digital marketing consultancy, then went back to school to pursue her M.B.A. at Columbia University before going on to work in the media and entertainment industries.

Green emphasized showing up, speaking up, exhibiting confidence and competence, and fully expressing one’s authentic self. She cited LinkedIn as a powerful tool for building and communicating a personal brand. “It’s one of the few places where you can go and you can run the narrative of your expertise,” she remarked.

“Don’t let your job get in the way of your career. … I think people miss out on taking ownership of their expertise. When you are on LinkedIn, don’t just go on there to update your resume. Start posting for the industry you want to get into, reshare articles, tag people whom you admire, and share your thoughts,” Green added. “And don’t be afraid to cold-email people. Get that network around you of people [who think] ‘that person really knows their industry.’”

Green’s call for meaningful networking was put into practice at the various regional Global Networking Week events.

For example, the Chicago ’Canes Community participated in a thought-provoking presentation that focused on negotiating skills and strategies, led by Leigh Melton, J.D. ’98. Chicago ’Canes President Rebecca Hoffman, B.A. ’92, M.S.Ed. ’94, said afterward, “we hope to offer more networking opportunities for members in 2023.”

In South Florida, the Broward and Palm Beach County ’Canes held a networking reception featuring a panel of University of Miami faculty and alumni, who led a conversation around influences on business and entrepreneurship, including technology and new generations of workers.

Constanza Lackey, B.C.S. ’91, said the event was an important learning experience for attendees. “It was such a pleasure to hear our panel discuss their experiences and how the U helped them get started on their journeys. When you stay connected to our ’Canes Communities, you never stop learning,” Lackey said.

“The world of business and entrepreneurship is constantly evolving, and it is essential to stay informed about the latest trends and strategies,” said Marcie Hibbs, B.A. ’99, president of the Broward County’Canes Community. “By connecting with alumni and other professionals in our network, we are constantly gaining valuable insights to stay ahead of the curve.”

The Miami ’Canes Community opted for a more informal approach, hosting a networking event at TopGolf, a local driving range. Carlos Lowell, B.S.M.E. ’94, said that the annual outing to TopGolf is more than just a social event. “Offering an opportunity to expand the connectivity and build meaningful relationships between alumni and friends of the University was our primary objective,” Lowell said.

Jerry Goldstein, B.B.A. ’89, president of the New York ’Canes Community, said it best in the wake of the New York networking reception, which featured Claudia Lezcano, B.G.S.C. ’07, CEO of Fuku: “Never underestimate the power of networking and the fact that you are immediately part of the powerful global Miami Hurricane network the moment you step foot on that campus in Coral Gables!”