Practicing Networking Skills while Building an International Community with Wagner International Student Society (WISS)

By Joshua Chun and Narihiro Tanaka


On November 16, 2023, the Wagner International Student Society (WISS), in partnership with the Office of Career Services (OCS) and the Office of Alumni and Student Engagement hosted an international student networking workshop at NYU Wagner. The workshop started off with a presentation by OCS on networking best practices to equip international students with the skills to navigate networking for career development. This was followed by a session where current students engaged with alumni who endeavored various career aspirations. 

The event welcomed four alumni from the Wagner community: 

  • Sai Vichare, Visiting Assistant Professor, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service (MPA-PNP 2023)
  • Yidan Wang, Responsible Investment Junior Analyst, Stepstone Group (MPA-PNP 2023) 
  • Maitri Pujara, Urban Planner, Gensler (MUP 2021) 
  • Vivian Hsing-Chun Wang, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Public Health Policy and Management, NYU School of Global Public Health (MPA-HPAM 2017)

The event allowed students to connect with alumni as well as practice networking best practices. Alumni shared their perspectives and experiences in their respective fields and how NYU Wagner helped foster and nurture their skills. 

Students in conversation at a table

The Power of Building a Professional Network of Support

Throughout the evening, participants shared and related to their own experiences and how they translated their education into practical professional experience. Knowing that you’re not alone in your journey was a key lesson that students expressed. As they practiced their pitches and networking skills, students were able to further build on their professional network. Some participants remarked that it was surprisingly easy to find commonalities and shared experiences during the networking exercises. Whether it was through internships and extensive community building, Wagner students received valuable insight from those alumni who were formerly in the same position, hoping to reach similar goals. The power of connecting in person and getting the “inside scoop” from alumni working in a field of interest was shared as a highlight during the debrief.

“The advice from our alumni is super useful, especially with the challenges international students are dealing with right now—moving away from home, adjusting to new cultures, and tackling imposter syndrome,” says Wawa Kulatnam, a first-year MPA-HPAM student. “These workshops not only improve our networking skills but also make us feel connected to others who understand what we're going through, who were in our shoes, and were feeling what we feel right now.” 

Yidan Wang, a featured alumna, expressed similar feelings towards the workshop: “Just a couple months ago, I was the same as the audience. I am happy to offer my assistance to them. I greatly appreciate all the resources and support from the Wagner community as well.” 

Attendees posing in front of the NYU Wagner banner for a group picture

Resources for Wagner Students to Explore


Written by Joshua Chun, a first-year MPA-PNP student and David Bohnett Public Service Fellow at NYU Wagner, and Narihiro Tanaka, a MPA-PNP 2024 candidate and chair of Wagner’s International Student Society.