ALUM for Northwood fall kickoff

Helena Zhou, Staff Writer

ALUM for Northwood, an organization that pairs Northwood students with alumni for one-on-one mentorships, hosted its fall program kickoff with group workshop sessions and guest speakers via Zoom on Sept. 20.

“ALUM has shown what to expect not only for college but also for my Northwood career,” sophomore Sanika Kolur said. “Especially as an underclassman, ALUM has for sure helped ease my nerves because I know they’re always there for help.”

Founded in March 2020 by Northwood alumni Viren Abhyankar, William Choi and Manav Manivannan, ALUM for Northwood aims to build connections between Northwood students of different years and create a community around shared experiences. The program is divided into three major career pathways: business, engineering and pre-med.

Within these pathways are group workshops as well as individual meetings aiming to provide guidance in academics, extracurriculars, internships, networking and the overall college experience.

During an 8-week pilot session this summer, ALUM hosted 38 mentors and mentees, receiving a 90% satisfaction rating.

“After being part of several mentorship programs in college, I wished I had a similar program when I was in high school,” Manivannan said. “That’s why we started ALUM, to help foster the talents and passions of the next generation of Northwood students.”

Moving forward, ALUM for Northwood is hosting their fall session with nearly 100 participants, having improved their program with feedback from summer. They hope to continue their program annually.

“Being the oldest child, I had no idea what college is like before ALUM,” senior Anagha Subbaraman said. “It was a useful and eye-opening experience that gave me a new perspective.”

For more information about the program and registration, visit ALUM for Northwood’s website at