NYU Alumni & Friends Connect

May 21, 2021

Z. Ingram (Zi/They/Them) (STEINHARDT ’15)

“The opportunity to network and build relationships is paramount in staying connected and creates a deeper connection as well,” says Z. Ingram (Zi/They/Them) (STEINHARDT ’15), a board member of the NYU LGBTQ+ Alumni Network. As a student, Zi was involved in clubs around campus, but the ability to extend this connection beyond graduation has deepened Zi’s connection to NYU. One day at a Recent Alumni Network (RAN) event, Zi learned about board membership openings for the NYU LGBTQ+ Alumni Network and jumped at the chance to have a role in decision making, diversifying events, and membership.  

Today, Zi is a mentor and a leader for alumni. They have an integral role in shaping the post-graduation experience for members—from celebrations and events to networking and community building. As Zi says, “everywhere I have been since graduation, I’ve had a Violet nearby.”

How was your experience shifting from student life to alumni life? How did you find community?

I am one who tends to build my own community wherever I go. My time spent at the LGBTQ+ Student Center and NYU Center for Multicultural Education and Programs (CMEP) profoundly cemented my community on campus, and continued to help guide my involvement post graduation. I also signed up for many alumni events and clubs as I approached graduation.

How has being an alumni club member shaped your life after graduation?

Being a member of the NYU LGBTQ+ Alumni Network Board allowed my connection to NYU to grow and flourish. I am constantly meeting new people, learning about them, and helping to shape post graduation life for new alumni. I have really grown into my role as a mentor and supporter of current students and recent alumni who join our network—I look forward to continuing to do this.

How has being an alumni club member kept you connected to NYU?

Being a club member created more awareness of all that NYU has to offer. I was connected with many other clubs, their members, and events. The opportunity to network and build relationships is paramount in staying connected, but also creates a deeper connection as well. While I was pretty much involved in only two spaces on campus, I broadened my connections as an alum. Now, everywhere I have been since graduating, I have had or found a Violet nearby.

Favorite memory with your alumni club?

Holiday parties! During this time of year people want a reason to dress up and be social. It is also a good time to meet new people and reconnect with others. Everyone comes to the party! It is an opportunity to mingle, eat, and enjoy one another.

What has been your favorite alumni club event?

Our letter writing for veteran students and alumni event in January 2019 was my favorite. It was right after the holiday season and we got people together to write to complete strangers, with NYU in common, thanking them for their service, letting them know they are not alone, and providing encouragement to keep going!

What advice would you give to new graduates?

Be bold! Do not be afraid to network and take full advantage of the global aspect of NYU.

Alumni are great and often an overlooked resource. Whenever I travel, I look for NYU alumni who may be in a city or country I plan to visit. Having a fellow Violet show you around, and to share the culture or food with them is always a plus!

What are you looking forward to with your club this year?

I am looking forward to our first in person social. We are hoping in-person events will resume with the annual back-to school social at the Monarch Rooftop Bar (fingers crossed!).

Make the most of networking, career events, and the NYU connection by signing up for an NYU Alumni Club. Visit the preference center to get involved today!