Jay Bakhru, WG’04, Affinity Chair of Wharton Education Network
Jay Bakhru, WG’04, was recently asked to be the Affinity Group Chair of the Wharton Education Network (WhEN). WhEN brings together New York-metropolitan-area alumni who are working in the education sector or have an interest in that area. Jay was the 2010 Co-Chair of the WCNY’s Wharton Alumni Business Plan Competition . Jay is enthusiastic in getting the word out about WhEN to interested alumni.
What is the goal of WhEN?
Education is the second biggest sector in the U.S. economy and continues to grow. New opportunities arise every day, and we want to support Wharton alumni to thrive in this sector. Our goal is to be a network for ideas and knowledge that will help our members better run their companies, identify new opportunities, or obtain better results from their investments in the education market.
How has the response been to your outreach?
The response has been terrific so far. We have about 30 active members and are looking to grow the group over the
next few months. The individuals in the group are phenomenal — personally and professionally — and are very passionate about the education sector. It’s also a diverse group with professionals working in financial services, publishing, higher education, non-profits and so on. So far this year, we’ve sent out a survey to potential members to better understand their interests, and we plan on hosting an event about every two months. In June, we co-hosted an event on public-private partnerships with the Government Relations Committee, and are planning a social on September 17 (keep an eye on the Events Calendar on the Club website). Readers interested in finding out more can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why are you interested in education?
My interest in education is longstanding — it is a root cause sort of thing that, if you start with education and get it right, then it can have this outsized effect on solving some of the most significant challenges in the world. I started my career as a middle school English teacher in Osaka, Japan. The role was a natural extension of the ESL teaching and tutoring I had done as an undergraduate student at Brown University. I enjoyed my time as a
teacher and grew to appreciate how important it is for students to have great teachers (and how truly difficult it is to be one!). The opportunity to work with like-minded Wharton alumni is a natural outgrowth of that interest.