Learning from Experience
Students and alumni of the School of Management’s MNA and MSOD programs gathered for a lovely dinner on February 13 to meet their mentor or mentees for the semester.
The School of Management’s Alumni and External Relations department recently organized an event that brought together alumni mentors and their student mentees from the Master of Science in Organization Development and Master of Nonprofit Administration programs. Students and alums had the opportunity to meet, chat, and dine at the lovely Palio d’Asti, owned by USF alumnus Martino DiGrande.
Jared Hoffman MSOD ’17 attended as a student mentee; he noted that being encouraged and given the opportunity to have a mentor through the alumni network was very meaningful to him. “Mentoring provides an important supplement to our coursework in the program and the career advising opportunities offered by the School of Management.”
Having a dedicated mentor who has gone through the same program, who shares your career interests and has been successful in achieving something you want for yourself is immensely valuable.
Jared Hoffman MSOD ’17
He emphasized how much his mentor, Kerry Slattery MSOD ’12, has invested in working with and assisting him. “She has made herself readily available via phone and email, has scheduled monthly meetings with me, shared resources and job opportunities from within her network, and even invited me to join a consultant’s book group.” Hoffman expressed the abundance of support he felt from his mentor and the program in “career development and extending my learning community and professional network beyond graduation.”
“I am already looking forward to serving as a mentor in the future, because I see the value it provides for mentees and the continued engagement with the organization development program that alumni enjoy through mentorship,” said Hoffman.
Alumni and External Relations Associate Director Susan Ewens explained the School of Management offers specialized mentor-mentee programs from the MNA and MSOD programs “because there was demand from our students and the faculty directors of each program. So we did a special branded launch for these two programs.”
Another mentee of Slattery’s is Victoria Reichenberg MSOD ’17 — who also said that one of her long term goals is to be a mentor. She said she chose to become a mentee because she deemed receiving mentorship and coaching from those with more experience is “an essential part of my graduate program” and that “this was just another avenue of guidance.”
Reichenberg explained that although she has only met her mentor once, she has already benefitted from the experience. She said Slattery provides assistance by “giving guidance on how to develop a business plan,” determine the “most effect way to approach a website,” and by helping her to “continue to develop my network.”
She explained that formally, the mentor-mentee program lasts for the duration of the semester, but a part of the self-reflective emphasis of USF’s Organization Development program means that professionals of varying levels of expertise in the field often reach out to others to receive insight. In terms of the mentor-mentee relationship between her and Slattery, she expressed “I hope she and I continue to be in touch and share approaches, ideas, and advice with each other.”
Finally, despite having just met her mentees, Slattery was able to offer a slice of wisdom in regards to her role: “As a mentor, I find I often learn as much as I teach.”
By Lonny Wysard