The Executive and Alumni Mentoring program in the Daniels College of Business is booming.
More than 60 business mentors and 200 MBA students are participating in the program this year — the best numbers ever.
“Mentoring is a way of giving back and to help a young generation get better faster,” says Joe Colosimo, president of Colosimo and Associates and a mentor in the program for several years. “Our greatest gift from a mentee is when we receive a call from them years later, and they say you made a difference in their lives.”
Launched in 2004, the initiative connects experienced business professionals with graduate business students. Its objective is to educate students on applied business practices, sharpen their career goals and improve professional networks. Mentors get to share their knowledge on specific jobs, organizations and career paths. Their personal experiences help students understand how business is practiced.
Mentors are assigned to groups of four students or less. The students work together to make agendas and goals for the partnership, prioritizing desired skills.
“The students really get to say, ‘This is what I want to learn; this is what I want to get out of it,’” says Melena Postolowski, assistant director of the Suitts Graduate and Alumni Career Center at Daniels.
Mentors facilitate networking experiences for the students as well. They connect students with other colleagues inside and outside their organizations, providing different perspectives and valuable future resources.
“That allows you to meet professionals in a more casual setting and learn from their experiences,” says Azizat Olayanju, a first-year MBA candidate with a concentration in finance and international studies.
Postolowski hopes in the future to pair all Daniels students with a mentor at some time while they are at DU. For the 2014–2015 school year, professionals with more than 15 years of experience are encouraged to apply.