Reminiscing about everything from their college years in Geneva to their own experiences living in Asia, alums Bernd Kroell ’10 and Kenneth Grossberg ’66 recently met in Japan to bridge connections formed by their common ties to HWS. The link between alums was formed thanks to a combination of circumstances.
While Kroell, who lives and works in Beijing, China, was planning a vacation to Japan, he saw the perfect opportunity to network with Grossberg, a marketing professor at Waseda University in Tokyo. Using the resources provided by the HWS Salisbury Center for Career Services and Professional Development, Kroell was able to connect with Grossberg to arrange a meeting during his trip, which also included stops in Kyoto and Osaka.
“It was a very pleasant experience and interesting conversation,” Kroell recalls. “We will stay in touch and next time I’m in Japan we will surely reconnect.”
Kroell, who is a senior analyst for an investment fund in Beijing and oversees a small team, said during their meeting they discussed global education and careers, their respective lives in Asia and the influences that Asia has had on them, and their respective HWS experiences and how their liberal arts educations prepared them for their subsequent endeavors. Grossberg, who was a Phi Beta Kappa honor society member and worked for The Herald at HWS, also talked to Kroell about his teaching experiences as a professor at Waseda.
For Kroell, his career trajectory in Asia, in part, began when he was an undergraduate at HWS. In 2009, Kroell received a summer internship at the Delegation of the European Commission to PR China, where he researched banking and financial systems in Beijing. After his time at HWS, Kroell went on to the University of Oxford in England for a master’s degree in Chinese studies.
“The combination of my Asia experience-including my time with the EU being a significant part of that-and my education were what set me apart in the highly competitive admissions process at Oxford,” says Kroell, who was a double major in economics and Asian languages and cultures at HWS.
In light of the meeting in Japan, both alums thoroughly enjoyed chatting about their personal experiences at HWS, noting how the Colleges, and particularly their time in Asia, have influenced their lives and careers. It was just one of the many examples of alums connecting with alums around the world.