Volunteer Spotlight: Young Alumni Advisory Board
We asked Binja Basimike, the new Vice Chair of the Young Alumni Advisory Board, why she volunteers and stays engaged with the Northeastern community.
How has the greater Northeastern Network supported you as a student and alumna?
At Northeastern, I was an international student from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I’m half Kenyan and half Congolese and got my high school IB Diploma in Harare, Zimbabwe. I received my BS in Health Sciences in 2012 and my Masters in Public Health in 2014. As a student and an international student at that, Northeastern was my second home. I had advisors and professors that not only ensured that I was on top of my coursework, but more importantly cared about me as a person. As an alumna, Northeastern is perhaps even better! I take full advantage of the professional development that has been offered via conferences held by groups like Women Who Empower or the latest additions with the Lifelong Learning: On Demand Series. I stop by campus every couple of months to meet with mentors and talk about campus and college changes, and personal challenges and accomplishments. Northeastern has always offered a safe space for me, which being far from home is more than I could have asked for.
What do you do in Boston? What do you like to do in your free time?
My passion is to create healthcare systems that not only meet the technical team requirements, but are also business and client centric. Currently, I am consulting at a healthcare brokerage firm that is undergoing a system conversion. In my free time I work on expanding my blog – The Fearless Self, traveling – nationally and internationally, sweating it out in Zumba, and brunching like a pro!
You mentioned the YAAB being the glue of alumni. What is your favorite way to engage/re-engage alumni?
My favorite way to re-engage alumni is through the networking sessions that the alumni office hosts. I enjoy putting people in touch with others in the room and seeing fellow alumni make new connections that wouldn’t have otherwise happened without an introduction. I also stay engaged by giving back through the MMXI Fund: an alumni-led scholarship that I helped establish.
What is your number one priority as Vice Chair?
My priority is to get more alumni plugged back into Northeastern and to ensure that they too take advantage of all the benefits that the Northeastern network provides (Liberty mutual discounts for example) and the career development opportunities.
FUN FACT: If you were famous what would you be famous for?
Being a serial entrepreneur (funding small to medium size businesses) and a philanthropist
FUN FACT: What TV sitcom family would you be a member of?
The Middle or American Housewife – tough to pick! I like these because they depict such extremes in family life that make them so relatable to me as I am part of a big family. They also carry the best life lessons and morals. The wit, love, and morals make these shows must sees for me!