MR MacGill and husband, Ho Nam

Cal State East Bay announces the Career Success Hub, a cutting-edge initiative to jumpstart student career paths

  • BY Ben Soriano
  • December 6, 2023

Cal State East Bay has partnered with the Nam-Macgill Family Fund to launch the Career Success Hub (CSH), a comprehensive, research-based career education program to help Cal State East Bay students successfully launch and grow their professional careers.

With a commitment to redirect their success in the Silicon Valley to help others, MR Macgill works closely with her husband, Ho Nam, a venture capitalist, to identify innovative programs that could provide a powerful, long-term social return on their investments.

“I'm really looking for people who I think are as thoughtful about what the student needs…and who truly understand,” said Macgill.

Her conversations with California higher education leaders led her to Cal State East Bay. “This is how I found Dr. Sandeen and East Bay,” said Macgill, praising President Sandeen as “an innovator.”

“She had a very similar focus [as us] of what she wanted to do.”

Macgill decided to underwrite and help with an employer perception study in 2022 that informed the program’s structure and strategy.

Based on findings and Cal State East Bay’s holistic approach to addressing student needs, the Nam-Macgill Family Fund magnified their commitment with an additional $1.175 million in seed funding over five years to help launch the CSH.

The studies identified three major opportunities for Cal State East Bay to build an equitable pipeline to promising careers:

  • Improve career and interview readiness
  • Build strong referral and employment pipelines between Cal State East Bay, its alumni and Bay Area employers
  • Provide effective and meaningful guidance, networks and alumni mentorship opportunities to graduates 

With these elements working in harmony, students would gain valuable insights and skills for faster, better fitting job placements and family-sustaining salaries.

“Many of our students are motivated to begin their professions as the first in their families to earn a degree,” says Evelyn Buchanan, Cal State East Bay Vice President of University Advancement, who has been working closely with Macgill. “With affirming support from Nam and Macgill, our career education hub will synchronize the tremendous efforts we’re already making to provide more equitable pathways to promising careers for all our graduates.”

The CSH will launch in four phases over three years, evolving its strategy rapidly based on student and alumni feedback, and performance measurements, which is exactly how Macgill, and Silicon Valley, like to work.

“I’ve always been known for saying, ‘Crawl, walk, run.’” said Macgill. “Don't bite off more than you can chew at the beginning. Just get it started. Get the muscle memory going on how to start to do something.”

During the first year, the CSH will develop the career education strategy designed to begin closing equity gaps. The CSH will also capture performance baselines to set CSH growth goals.

Other first-year objectives include rolling out a Faculty and Staff Career Champions program, developing an employer engagement strategy and strengthening alumni and employer networks.

“We want to provide valuable know-how and opportunities to network with employers, to map out long-term career goals and to highlight career-building paths in a globalized job market that is ever-changing and hyper-competitive,” said Buchanan.

The CSH’s scope will widen in year two to include internship pipeline development and other curricula-alignment efforts.

Knowledge-sharing through mentorships, workshops and seminars led by alumni and employers will be strengthened and enhanced in year three to complete the comprehensive strategy.

By the time students graduate from Cal State East Bay, they will have gained actionable knowledge in how to cultivate and invest their social capital, and how to nurture their professional networks—essential skills for building a rewarding career and attaining sustainable social mobility.