W. P. Carey Alumni Share Their Experience Establishing Professional Relationships

We asked W. P. Carey Alumni: What is a key professional relationship you have built, and how did you establish it?

They shared:

Sun Devil Alum/Exec Relationship

During my ASU MBA days in 2010, an exec alum, Steve Miller (Disney CPO at that time), came to drop off his son on the campus, and someone introduced us. I asked Steve a lot of questions about his journey/role and he was kind enough to answer and share his insights. Later Disney came to hire on the ASU campus but I wasn’t allowed to apply as I was an international student and Disney policies didn’t allow F1 visa holders to sit in campus interviews. I kept in touch with Steve all year over Linkedin and finally, he gave me a chance to interview on his team, and I converted that opportunity into an offer. 

That Disney internship became my launchpad in the Media & Entertainment industry which opened doors for me in Warner/HBO and Paramount/ViacomCBS studios. Today, I lead Production Strategy & Global Vendor Resource Planning at Netflix. I still talk to Steve every few months for guidance and mentorship. (Fun fact-Steve was a professor at ASU from 2016-19) 

Digvijay Singh, MBA ‘12, Netflix

Peer Relationships

I have countless key professional relationships I have built during my career, but I can’t just share one. As I stepped back to think about this question, I landed instead on a group of relationships – my peers at different points in my career. I realize these relationships play such a significant role in my success. The collaboration, support, learning, and energy I receive from these folks support my own professional growth and also my joy and love for my job.

Get to know your peers on a real level. Invest the time to go beyond the required work conversations. Build trust. Enjoy the people you work with. It pays off when things don’t go quite right – and it pays off when the magic happens. 

Brooke Christofferson, MBA ‘04, Elev8 Strategies Group

Relationship With A Boss

I have created a unique and strong relationship with the franchise owner of my current employer. First established through networking myself at franchise meetings and social-business gatherings. I laid the foundation for what would become a strong bond between employee and boss. Creating this key professional relationship opened the door to endless career advancement opportunities I plan to continue to capitalize on.

Much thanks to W. P. Carey for supplying me with the tools needed to have these types of conversations with high-level executives, and for creating the career I have currently made for myself. 

Justin Federici, BA Corporate Communications ‘20, College Nannies & Sitters


Anyone who connects with me knows one of my core values is mentorship (mentoring others and being mentored, to me, is a two-way street). One of my favorite professional mentors is Sheela Gonsalves who I had the initial pleasure of working for at Sony Pictures.

In the beginning, I built this relationship by having honest conversations, being curious, sharing failures and learnings, providing top-notch work, and asking what I could do to help her. This seemingly simple formula takes a lot of effort, attention to team and company growth, and the essential human element of caring beyond yourself. Sheela challenged me professionally, and I added value through my unique way of seeing and solving problems and entrepreneurial growth. Beyond Sony and over the years, not a week goes by that we do not connect and continue to challenge and lift each other. Mentors like Sheela are oxygen. 

Susie Palmer, MBA Marketing ‘19, Marketing Leader

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By W. P. Carey Career Services Center
W. P. Carey Career Services Center