The Executive Mentor Program Benefits Undergrads and Graduates 

By Carol (Knight, ’81, MA ’08) Best
July 31, 2014
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New university graduates benefit from an experienced professional’s assistance to land that first job, make smart career moves and navigate the business world. To help them achieve success and put their education to work, MNU's Office of Alumni Relations and School of Business will launch an Executive Mentor Program this fall.

In its first year the program will pair senior business majors with successful business professionals as mentors. Mentors will assist students by advising them on interpersonal skills, the job search and networking opportunities. Alumni Relations Director Kevin Garber says the program is being piloted with the School of Business this year with plans to expand into other disciplines in the future.

“I would have benefitted from having a mentor when I graduated from MNU,” Garber says. “I also know the joy of helping others network and achieve their goals. A mentoring program is a win-win for both parties.”

With help from MNU friend Dave Warner, retired executive from Ryan, LLC., Garber put together an advisory board to help create the program. The board researched other universities’ programs such as Kansas State’s. Then they tailored the ideas to fit MNU. The program already has 27 mentors in place with a goal of 50 by September when the program starts. Mentors will be matched to students by their professors and the program’s organizers.

MNU Professor Yorton Clark, EdD, thinks the program will help students in their transition to the job market.

“This program allows the students to increase their self-confidence and assertiveness, by obtaining information and personal support from a proven and qualified professional,” Clark says. “It’s a wonderful platform for meaningful relationships for the mentors to share valuable advice, and the mentees to learn practical experiences to assist in a smoother transition into their next stages in life.”

Officially being introduced to the students on their first day of class, the mentoring program will be a requirement for seniors in business. On September 16, the students will meet their mentors and the mentors will attend an orientation. The date coincides with a regularly scheduled MNU Tuesday Business Luncheon which mentors may choose to attend.

Garber has invited 100 alumni and friends to consider becoming mentors. Requirements for mentors include at least 10 years of professional business experience, the interest and ability to nurture a student’s professional development and access to a network of professional and personal contacts to draw on as a resource to assist students. A mentor does not have to be an alumnus of MNU.

Garber says the program is designed to respect the mentors’ time. The commitment is to have contact with the mentee at least once a month for up to an hour. Once approved a mentor will continue to assist their student until graduation from MNU or until one or both decides to discontinue the professional relationship.

For more information on the program go to mnu.edu/mentoring, email mentoring@mnu.edu or call Alumni Relations at (913) 971-3275.