Carnegie Mellon University

Small but Mighty Networking

Tartan Circles are small, hand selected groups of like-minded CMU alumni who come together online to build their professional network. Circles are your place to go with questions and challenges when you’re exploring how to get your next role, start your own company or be a better leader, while sharing your experience and ideas with others. Circles offer you the chance to gain and give unbiased, candid advice and insights.

Benefits of joining a Tartan Circle include:

Video Calls Icon Weekly peer-moderated video calls

Member Focus Icon Dedicated meetings focused on each Circle member

Any Device Icon Participate from anywhere on any device with Zoom

Spring 2020 Tartan Circles

Registration will close on February 2.
A limited number of alumni will be selected to participate. All applicants will be notified of their status no later than February 6.

If you're interested in leading a Spring Circle, contact us at

Drive Your Career 
Circle Leader: Boyan Zhang (DC 2018) 
Tuesdays @ 8 p.m. (ET)

Working 9 or more hours a day Monday through Friday takes a significant amount of time in our life. We are constantly urged to fulfill the business needs of our firms, but have you striven to meet your career needs and ambitions? Are you proactively owning your development or passively performing on tasks assigned to you? How can you seek and seize opportunities for personal growth and career advancement? We may not have full control of where our career path goes, but we have the choice to drive our career and define how our career progresses. 

Women in Leadership: Climbing the Corporate Ladder 
Circle Leader: Priya Sankaralingam (E 2007) 
Wednesdays @ 11 a.m. (ET) 

Research shows that women are severely underrepresented in Leadership positions across virtually every sector- Business, Technology, Medicine. In this circle, we will discuss challenges that are unique to women, and ways to break the glass ceiling to achieve one’s maximum potential. 

Product & Project Management 
Circle Leader: Madhuri Gopal (E 2016)  
Wednesdays 5 p.m. (ET)

Connect with fellow Tartans also working in product & project management. Share experiences and best practices from strategy and design thinking to pitching your own idea and selling to customers. 

Writing & Editing  
Circle Leader: Jenn Phillips (DC 1994) 
Wednesdays @ 7:30 p.m. (ET) 

Take charge of your text and communicate exceptionally, instead of allowing writing and editing challenges to take charge of you.

Career Transitioning + Pivoting 
Circle Leader: Lydia Jin (TPR 2018) 
Wednesdays @ 9:30 p.m. (ET) 

Aspire to do incredibly big, scary things with your career but at a loss with how to move forward or take the next step? This circle is for you!  

CEO Group - Start up to mid-size non-public companies  
Circle Leader: Gerry Peterson (HNZ 90)
Thursdays @ 9 p.m. (ET)

This is a peer to peer alumni group of CEOs designed to provide a forum for advisory and best practice discussions related to challenges faced by small to mid-sized business leaders. The purpose is to gather and share and learn from one another.     

Building Mastery 
Circle Leader: Keith Clark (HNZ 2010) 
Thursdays @ 12:30 p.m. (ET) 

Reinforcing the fundamentals of leadership and taking your skills to the next level. Particular focus on servant leadership.  

Doing Well By Doing Good  
Circle Leader: Chris Gassman (TPR 2012) 
Thursdays @ 7 p.m. (ET) 

Confidential space for troubleshooting the professional and personal challenges we're working to overcome as we strive to lead in ways aligned with our values.  

Career Transitioning + Pivoting 
Circle Leader: Kristen Heimerl (TPR, SCS 2001) 
Fridays @ 3 p.m. (ET) 

Aspire to do incredibly big, scary things with your career but at a loss with how to move forward or take the next step? This circle is for you!  


By participating in the program, you will

  • Expand your professional network
  • Build meaningful relationships with fellow CMU alumni
  • Gain solutions and ideas from brainstorming sessions
  • Tap into the experience and skills of others
  • Increase confidence about taking the right actions to achieve goals

Who should participate?

CMU alumni like you who wish to

  • Discuss challenges and shape ideas
  • Share experiences with others
  • Expand their professional network
  • Reach or exceed professional goals
  • Commit to group meetings