The Robins School of Business’ Executive Advisory Council (EAC) Mentoring Program has broadened its reach to incorporate MBA students as mentors to undergraduate business minors and majors. 
Lauren Napolitano, ’08 and MBA candidate, is one of the graduate students who are participating in the mentoring program this semester.  Napolitano decided to get involved with the program because of the impact that two of her own mentors had on her as an undergraduate student in the Robins School.
“As an undergraduate student, I had two alums who were more informal mentors to me and who were extremely helpful in guiding me through my last year of college.  They were incredibly influential in my growth and development during that last year, and from that point on, I knew that I wanted to one day help other students the way that they helped me,” she said.
Although mentors have traditionally been more seasoned executives, Shelley Burns, Director of Career Programs (who facilitates the mentoring program), feels that MBA students can be just as much of a resource.
“We have some really neat people in-house…[MBA students] who are interested in giving back, so why not leverage a resource that is already here in the business school,” Burns explained.
Napolitano was matched with Perry Beal, who is a junior majoring in Spanish and business with a concentration in marketing.  Beal finds it easier to relate to Napolitano, who graduated in 2008, because of her proximity to the anxieties and questions students have about entering the job and internship market.
“I think that one of the best aspects of this program is having a mentor that is such a recent graduate.  Lauren is only four years older than I am, and in that respect, we can relate to a lot of things, including having the same professors and entering the job market in a recovering economy.”
Not only does Beal feel like she can relate to Napolitano because she’s a recent grad, their further shared experience of being Spiders in the business school has helped forge their relationship.
“The fact that we have alumni who are not just continuing to be a part of the University, but who are also an active part in this program is an invaluable resource for students,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to get advice from people who have not only been through the entire internship and job search, but people who have done so coming from the same place I am.”
Burns has intentionally structured the mentor program so that mentors and mentees meet based on their specific schedules and preferences.  This year, Burns created a one-page handout that mentors and mentees go through during their first meeting.  The handout details things like what expectations and assumptions each person has in their role as a mentor or as a mentee.  
“Expectations have a lot to do with where the breakdown can occur,” she explained.
Mentors and mentees also must agree on a date for their next meeting as a part of the expectation sheet and establish the best method of communication for the mentee to use when communicating with their mentor.
Napolitano hopes to impart on Beal the ability to have a broad perspective of how the activities she’s involved in as an undergraduate can aid her in her future.  “As a mentor, I hope to help Perry think more about the bigger picture and how all of her experiences as an undergraduate have developed her skill set which will be beneficial to her in her post-graduate endeavors.”
Already, Napolitano’s efforts are paying off.  
Beal said Lauren has taught her “to make the most out of every opportunity or experience I have been a part of.  It doesn’t matter if it was a babysitting job or a waitressing experience- these are valuable parts that taught you something and are worthwhile in developing your resume as well as your character.”
The EAC Mentoring Program is open to all junior undergraduate business majors and minors and applications are accepted every fall.  Juniors who study abroad during their first semester can contact Shelley Burns directly to get involved in the program.  All students must submit their resume and fill out an application discussing personal and professional goals.
Corporate partners and professionals who are interested in giving back as a mentor should contact Burns directly and can visit the EAC Mentoring Program website for more information.  *You do not have to be an alumni of the University to participate in the program. 

The Executive Advisory Council (EAC) Mentoring Program in the Robins School of Business has broadened its reach to incorporate MBA students as mentors to undergraduate business minors and majors. 

Lauren Napolitano, ’08 and MBA candidate, is one of the graduate students who are participating in the mentoring program this semester.  Napolitano decided to get involved with the program because of the impact that two of her own mentors had on her as an undergraduate student in the Robins School.

“As an undergraduate student, I had two alums who were more informal mentors to me and who were extremely helpful in guiding me through my last year of college.  They were incredibly influential in my growth and development during that last year, and from that point on, I knew that I wanted to one day help other students the way that they helped me,” she said.

Although mentors have traditionally been more seasoned executives, Shelley Burns, Director of Career Programs (who facilitates the mentoring program), feels that MBA students can be just as much of a resource.

“We have some really neat people in-house…[MBA students] are interested in giving back, so why not leverage a resource that is already here in the business school,” Burns explained.

Napolitano was matched with Perry Beal, who is a junior majoring in Spanish and business with a concentration in marketing.  Beal finds it easier to relate to Napolitano, who graduated in 2008, because of her proximity to the anxieties and questions students have about entering the job and internship market.

“I think that one of the best aspects of this program is having a mentor that is such a recent graduate.  Lauren is only four years older than I am, and in that respect, we can relate to a lot of things, including having the same professors and entering the job market in a recovering economy.”

Not only does Beal feel like she can relate to Napolitano because she’s a recent grad, their further shared experience of being Spiders in the business school has helped forge their relationship.

“The fact that we have alumni who are not just continuing to be a part of the University, but who are also an active part in this program is an invaluable resource for students,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to get advice from people who have not only been through the entire internship and job search, but people who have done so coming from the same place I am.”

Burns has intentionally structured the mentor program so that mentors and mentees meet based on their specific schedules and preferences.  This year, Burns created a one-page handout that mentors and mentees go through during their first meeting.  The handout details things like what expectations and assumptions each person has in their role as a mentor or as a mentee.  

“Expectations have a lot to do with where the breakdown can occur,” she explained.

Mentors and mentees also must agree on a date for their next meeting as a part of the expectation sheet and establish the best method of communication for the mentee to use when communicating with their mentor.

Napolitano hopes to impart on Beal the ability to have a broad perspective of how the activities she’s involved in as an undergraduate can aid her in her future.  “As a mentor, I hope to help Perry think more about the bigger picture and how all of her experiences as an undergraduate have developed her skill set which will be beneficial to her in her post-graduate endeavors.”

Already, Napolitano’s efforts are paying off.  

Beal said Lauren has taught her “to make the most out of every opportunity or experience I have been a part of.  It doesn’t matter if it was a babysitting job or a waitressing experience- these are valuable parts that taught you something and are worthwhile in developing your resume as well as your character.”

The EAC Mentoring Program is open to all junior undergraduate business majors and minors and applications are accepted every fall.  Juniors who study abroad during their first semester can contact Shelley Burns directly (sburns@richmond.edu) to get involved in the program.  All students must submit their resume and fill out an application discussing personal and professional goals.

Corporate partners and professionals who are interested in giving back as a mentor should contact Burns directly and can visit the EAC Mentoring Program website for more information.  *You do not have to be an alumni of the University to participate in the program.