How often do we ask ourselves: who do I want to be? How do we make our career choices – including decisions about changing employers or even professions? How these choices possibly relate to a wider evolution of our professional areas? Is there any formula for career success?

Informed by his research on professional identities and inspired by the way we influence each other’s career paths, Dr. Serge Sych has invited three of his career influencers, star advancement professionals, Dr. Phil Conroy, Zarema Kasabieva and Andy Shaindlin for an eye-opening conversation on choices, career paths, and reaching our full potential as advancement professionals.


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Higher Ed Special Edition is sponsored by PRSA’s Counselors to Higher Education

Episode Host

Serge Sych

Dr. Serge Sych

Serge is vice president for enrollment management, career services and alumni relations at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Serge currently manages a diverse portfolio of student recruitment, admissions, financial aid, career, alumni and fundraising programs. With students coming from more than 100 countries and alumni residing on six continents, these programs are strikingly international.

Based in Hungary, Serge pioneered alumni relations in Central Europe and has more than 20 years of experience in higher education advancement and extensive international experience as a speaker, trainer, and consultant. Serge was chair of Alumni Relations Expert Community at the European Association for International Education (EAIE) and is currently an elected member of the EAIE General Council. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of CASE Europe (Council for Advancement and Support of Education). Serge is the recipient of the Bo Gregersen Award for Best Practice and has graduate degrees in history, international relations, comparative law, as well as Doctor in Education.



Andy Shaindlin

Andy Shaindlin is Vice President for Alumni Relations at Brown University (USA). In 30 years working with alumni, he has held senior roles at the University of Michigan, the California Institute of Technology and at Carnegie Mellon University. He has also spent several years as an alumni strategy consultant, working for institutions in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

A former CASE Trustee and former Chair of the Commission on Alumni Relations, he is also the founder of Alumni Futures, the only blog dedicated to the craft of alumni engagement. Andy is a graduate of Brown and earned a master’s degree in Education from Claremont Graduate University.


Zarema Kasabieva

Zarema Kasabieva (Ph.D., MBA) is vice-rector for strategic enrollment management, student affairs and alumni relations at the New Economic School (NES). NES is the first private graduate school in Russia. It was founded in 1992 to adhere to the highest international standards in modern education and research in economics. Starting as the founding dean of students, she then served as NES vice-rector for academic and student affairs.

Currently, Zarema Kasabieva leads educational marketing, admissions, students services, financial aid, and alumni relations departments, as well as the center for career and leadership development. She also supervises enhancing NES presence in international and domestic rankings. Zarema led the launch of the first in Russia fundraising endowment campaign among NES alumni, considered by many as one of the most successful alumni giving stories in the country.

Zarema is an expert in higher education management, advancement and development, university cooperation, quality assurance, alumni relations, and educational marketing. She is a member of the European Association of International Educators (EAIE), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), speaker and contributor at national and international conferences. She was recognized among the distinguished ‘NES Faces,’ who have had a major impact on the institution and, is often referred to as ‘The Soul of the School’ by NES community members.


Dr. Phil Conroy

Dr. Phil Conroy is an internationally recognized leader in higher education and non-profit management. He has more than forty years of experience as a teacher and leader in the fields of leadership, strategic planning, enrolment management and marketing, brand development, fund-raising, constituent relations, and international and cultural education. He has served as a college president, a vice president for institutional advancement, and a vice president for enrolment management and marketing at both public and independent universities.

Dr. Conroy is a frequent presenter at professional organization meetings in North America, Europe, and Asia. He serves in an elected leadership position as chair and co-founder of Alumni Relations Expert Community (AREC) at the European Association for International Education (EAIE). Dr. Conroy was awarded the Nicholas P. Tillinghast Award for Achievement in the Field of Education by his alma mater, Bridgewater State University. He resides in Winter Springs, Florida, USA, and is a native of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He presently is an independent consultant.


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