Outstanding Alumnae Award for Service to the Community 2017
By Anissa V. Rivera
Joy Bejarano ’15 MBA, didn’t quite know what she was getting herself into when she was first elected president of the board of directors of MAPs, the Mount’s MBA Alumni Professionals association.
She knew she felt a singular belonging to the Mount family, and a strong call to share the wisdom of her experiences. So Bejarano, 40, went all in and made the role her own. Her commitment means she is on campus for a multitude of events, from student orientations to information sessions.
“I believe alumni presence is necessary in as many MBA events as possible to support and inspire our current students,” Bejarano says. “The worth of our MBA becomes much more valuable when our network is strong.”
Bejarano set “the bar for all graduates of Mount Saint Mary’s to follow,” according to Christian B. Teeter, assistant professor of business and former director of the University’s MBA program. She is a “distinguished graduate whose unyielding loyalty to Mount Saint Mary’s has shined through again and again.”
At homecoming festivities in October, the Mount will recognize Bejarano with the Outstanding Alumnae Award for Service to the University, honoring her work with the alumni association, its mentorships, speaker series and outreach programs.
It is a labor of love grown out of Bejarano’s MBA experience, especially from connecting and learning with her cohort of 12 colleagues in the program.
“The rigor of the program forced us to really trust each other, learn from each other, and overcome the difficult times brought on by the program’s natural pressures,” she says. “Through conflict, we persevered, grew from the experiences and learned to be friends.”
Bejarano also works to strengthen ties with alumni, especially women. She led a women’s leadership panel showcasing successful graduates in their careers and encourages alumnae to come back to the Mount and speak to students.
Strengthening ties is a skill that serves Bejarano well in her professional life, too. She is an accounting manager for the Canadian division of Advantage Solutions, a sales and marketing agency based in Irvine, Calif. “It’s challenging having to lead my Canada division remotely, but I love that I am able to work with different teams to find solutions to issues that arise,” Bejarano says.
She received a certificate in accounting from UCLA and earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Brandman University. She said her experience at the Mount has taught her not only the value of academics, but the importance of relationships.
“I hope Mount students are inspired to give back to their alma mater with the objective of shaping students’ lives positively,” she says. “For me, earning my MBA at the Mount changed my life so significantly, I make it a point to share with students that if they commit themselves and work through the rigor, they too will find their own successes.”