Ask the people in the Office of Advancement in the College of Business at Florida International University (FIU) why the mentor program has more than doubled in size and they will give you one good reason: more business professionals are willing to step forward to provide help for students.
This year’s program paired 117 business students with mentors, compared to last year’s 54. Many students met their mentors for the first time at a breakfast program on campus on September 30, 2015.
“The kick-off event was a great way to have that first connection between mentor and mentee. The turnout was high and I think all the mentorships started off strong,” says Jennifer Mohammed (MS ’08). Mohammed, a director, talent management and development in the Human Resources department at MasterCard, was in charge of the effort at her company, now a partner of the program. Mohammed recruited 14 other MasterCard professionals to join her in becoming a mentor.
“As mentors, each of us is willing to share what we know with our student,” Mohammed said. “I didn’t have a mentor in college but I can only imagine the help it would have been to get advice from someone who had already started their career.”
Professionals from Deloitte, Ocean Bank, Visa, Wal-Mart and other companies of all sizes who stepped forward to be part of FIU’s program also were at the breakfast. Jose Aldrich, acting dean, welcomed the group and thanked the mentors for playing an important role in the business education of the students.
Jennifer Quintana (BA ’07), director of Alumni Relations for the College of Business, added her thanks. She pointed out the important role that the Alumni Board, including former board member and current Dean’s Council member Francis Hondal (BBA ’87, MBA ’94), had in growing the program.
Yanyn San Luis, (BA ’10), assistant director of alumni relations in the Office of Advancement, introduced mentor Miguel Horvath, a private wealth advisor at Horvath Wealth Management, and Radita Chowdry (MIB ’05), a former mentee, who each shared their experiences with the attendees.
Online students participate in mentoring opportunity.
This year’s mentoring program has more online students than ever before, including international students.
“After an initial phone call, online students will have a virtual relationship with their mentor,” San Luis said. “They can use email, Skype or whatever format each is comfortable with. Just as with students on campus, online students receive career advice, get insight into specific industries and learn about real-world business experiences. The online one-on-one relationship can be as powerful as in-person opportunities.”