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CORNELL CLUB MEMBER PROFILES

Would you like to be featured?  We plan to have a new profile of a Cornell graduate on our Home Page every week, and maybe it will be you.  All you have to do is answer the questions at the bottom of this article  and send those answers, along with a picture, to Nancy Mills at NLM5@cornell.edu.  All profiles can be accessed here:  http://www.cornellclubla.com/featured_members.html  

 

Connie Kim '93profile_ckim

Attorney

Tell us about how your experiences at Cornell influenced your path. 

I've always been interested in international issues so I opted to live in the Language House for Freshman and Sophomore years in the French section.  Immersing myself in this cultural environment led by native speakers opened my eyes to not only first-hand accounts of daily life for Francophones but exposure to the other cultures grouped together in the House  It also facilitated in improving my French language skills and prepared me for my study abroad in Paris, France my junior year.   I ended up doing a double major in Government and French Literature and thoroughly enjoyed the classes and experiences from those areas of study.  The varied academic and cultural experiences I had at Cornell resulted in lifelong friendships both here and abroad and have helped me appreciate and navigate the international legal practice I work in here in Los Angeles, including having previously chaired the International Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and my affiliation with other international bar organizations.

How did you come to live in Los Angeles and what you are doing now?

I grew up in Los Angeles and currently practice as an attorney in civil litigation and international arbitration in Pasadena at Connon Wood LLP.


How did Cornell help prepare you for your post-grad life?

Cornell is an amazing large institution that attracts people from all over the country and the world, with diverse backgrounds and experiences.  Only after I graduated did I truly appreciate how accessible all these people and educational opportunities were in that microcosm in Ithaca.  Because of the varied experiences I had while at school and abroad, I feel connected to the world and fearless of new opportunities and challenges that come my way.  I have always had wanderlust and that desire to see and experience the world has just been integrated with my current professional life.

Tell us a favorite memory of your time at Cornell.

There are so many, but one of the things I most loved about Cornell was its bucolic setting and the beautiful turn of the seasons.  It felt very different from LA and grounding, which had a calming effect on me when studies and life experiences got too intense.  

Tell us a favorite memory shared with another Cornell alum in L.A.

CCLA has such a great and enthusiastic group of leaders who organize interesting events that bring together a variety of alumni and friends from all walks of life.  I've enjoyed meeting fellow alumni who are so dedicated to their families, careers and various causes that they support.  I just need to find the time to attend more of these events!

What advice would you give, personally and professionally related to your line of work, to Cornell grads looking to come to L.A.?

There are two things:  (1) there is a time and place for everything, and (2) keep sight of your goals and evaluate them periodically.  Because of the size of Cornell, possibilities almost seem limitless.  As a student, you should focus on being a student and try not to get distracted by things that really don't serve you as a student and person - working diligently on your studies, learning about all the opportunities available to you at school, and being open to meeting people who are different from you.  But that doesn't mean you shouldn't also be periodically evaluating your goals with each passing year.  You may think you want to be an architect when you initially apply, but then you discover you really love organic chemistry!  What to do? Change your major, talk to people in both professions, take a gap year off and try to figure this out in the real world.  The 4 years (or more) you'll be at Cornell are golden, a time in your youth that you will look fondly upon when older and more entrenched in your life with real responsibilities of family and career.  But if you keep these two ideas in mind, you'll ultimately fare well in the end.  Best of luck!

Adnan Tapia MS ‘96adnan-tapia

Real Estate Development

Tell us about how your experiences at Cornell influenced your path. How did you come to live in Los Angeles and what you are doing now?

For the first 18 years of my life, I grew up on a farm 2.5 hours east of Mumbai in western India. So the college town setting was ideal for someone with my background. I attended the Masters in Engineering program at Cornell and was impressed by the flexibility that the program offered me in tailoring it to my needs. It allowed me to take courses in the business, hotel, and architecture schools, thus introducing me to other fields of expertise. I moved to Los Angeles almost 14 years ago in pursuit of a job opportunity, and have since worked in real estate financial advisory and private equity. Currently, I am a Principal at Ploutus Advisors, a real estate development, investment, and corporate real estate advisory firm. I assist property owners, acquirers, value-enhancers, and users of real estate such as local developers, foreign and high-net worth investors, physicians, and small-to-medium sized companies with their specific real estate goals. I also teach Real Estate Development, Construction and Management at UCLA Extension.

How did Cornell help prepare you for your post-grad life?

Cornell is unique in that it not only challenges you from an academic standpoint, but also offers an environment that makes you emotionally and mentally strong. Cornell opened my eyes to several opportunities and creative paths for success. Attending a university in my opinion is more than just academics and grades. It is about building life-long relationships. No matter what field one works in at the end of the day we are all in the people business.

Tell us a favorite memory of your time at Cornell.

I had an amazing time at Cornell so it is tough to list just one memory. As mundane as it sounds, one of my favorite things to do was to walk on and around campus. I enjoyed soaking in the serenity of its pristine environment; Cascadilla Trail, The Slopes, The Art Quad, McGraw Tower, Bebee Lake, Cornell Plantations, and more. The uniqueness of Slope Day also puts it on my list of most memorable events. Another memorable time was my first experience in the aftermath of a snowfall. My roommate and I were walking downhill back from school to our apartment, and it had snowed all morning. Neither of us had previously experienced snow. We had our backpacks and as we marched home, we continued to slip and fall in our sneakers. It was hilarious, but at the end of that 20-minute walk on black ice and frozen slush, we both made our first purchase of snow boots.

Tell us a favorite memory shared with another Cornell alum in L.A.

Bill Weinberger, a fellow Cornell Alum, and I met at a Cornell event a few years ago. We exchanges notes and given our common interest in the field of real estate, we went on to organize a real estate networking event for Cornell Alums in the LA area to engage, build relationships, and do business with other Cornell Alums. It has now been over two years, and we have created a network of Cornell Alums in Real Estate in the LA Area who meet periodically.

What advice would you give, personally and professionally related to your line of work, to Cornell grads looking to come to L.A.?

People do business with people they like. Work, and for that matter life, is similar to a bank account. One has to make a deposit, before one can make a withdrawal. If you plan to move to LA, do invest some time in identifying alums in your industry, and focus on building relationships. I find informal “informational” interviews a helpful no-pressure avenue to initiate a conversation. If you plan to be in LA reach out to an alum, and grab coffee. Good luck!-----------------------------

TO BE FEATURED IN MEMBER PROFILES, PLEASE ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS AND SEND THEM TO NANCY MILLS AT bartandnancy@verizon.net 

 

Tell us about how your experiences at Cornell influenced your path.

How did you come to live in Los Angeles and what you are doing now?

How did Cornell help prepare you for your post-grad life?

Tell us a favorite memory of your time at Cornell.

Tell us a favorite memory shared with another Cornell alum in L.A.

What advice would you give, personally and professionally related to your line of work, to Cornell grads looking to come to L.A.?

 

ALL MEMBER PROFILES CAN BE VIEWED HERE:

 http://www.cornellclubla.com/featured_members.html