I was among the top few at my institute, and former classmates and professors respect me for that and in general. I landed a coveted job after graduation, but have changed jobs twice, with some gaps in between.
At my current workplace, I have 6 people from my Alma mater out of about 300 employees, and 5 of them are either from a later year (currently one level higher post than mine) or from my own class (2 levels higher, I'm reporting to their peer).
I'm ok with this because I'd changed fields and maybe I don't have enough relevant experience.
But this makes it a little embarrassing for me when I introduce myself to new people in my current workplace, or when I'm connecting with other known people who know about my batch mates working at the same place at a higher level. Almost everyone comments something like "Oh, isn't XYZ from your batch a senior/lead worker at the same place? "
I don't think anyone wants to hurt me, but it does leave me with a feeling that I'm supposed to explain this (aberration?), and the fact that I used to do very well in college makes it a genuine question, if somewhat immature. I feel this also hurts my future prospects. So, I've even avoided a few networking events to escape the situation, especially if alum co-workers are expected to attend.
How best should I introduce myself and respond to such a follow up question?