This month, we sat down with Director of Development and Alumni Relations Debby Goldberg to hear more about her passion for the Schwarzman Scholars community.
Tell us a bit about your background. How did you become interested in development and alumni relations and what drew you to Schwarzman Scholars?
I have had the honor to work on behalf of people and organizations that inspire me. A first job in presidential politics put me on a unique and exciting path that took me to Iowa for the Caucus, to Atlanta for my first political convention, and to DC to work at the national political level. These experiences taught me that building trusted and sustaining relationships is meaningful to me. At the core of Development and Alumni Affairs is relationship building. Getting to know what people care about, coming up with strategies to connect them to you and your organization, especially when you care deeply about the organization’s mission. The mission of Schwarzman Scholars is what drew me in, along with the steep learning curve with regard to China.
How have you grown as a leader in your current position?
In working with Chinese colleagues and organizations, I have observed and adapted to the similarities and differences in approaches to work and relationships.
What is your favorite part of your job?
When we ask Alumni to volunteer for program initiatives, like recruiting or mentoring, and we see the commitment of the community. And when we persuade donors that an investment in Schwarzman Scholars is an investment in an optimistic future.
You spend a lot of time cultivating community amongst and for alumni post-graduation. What are your best tips on building community (especially during this years’ difficult circumstances)?
Sometimes you have to build community brick-by-brick. We like to get to know people as individuals so that you can link them to others with shared interests. We also like to celebrate with alumni – at Chinese New Year, through service initiatives, and upon life’s milestones – there have been a spate of Schwarzman Scholars babies this year!
What is your favorite part of working with Schwarzman Scholars alumni?
It is an extraordinary community of young people and I have the chance to offer advice, share my own experience with them, and celebrate their accomplishments.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I am a fan of non-fiction and so dive deep into news and history. To complement that, I suspend belief with regular visits to New York City’s extraordinary cultural spots.
What’s one fact nobody would know about you from reading your resume?
I am the aunt to seven nieces and nephews and insist they all become Red Sox fans.