The first group of students and mentors to participate in the Leeds School of Business Professional Mentorship Program (PMP) were honored in a celebration this past spring.
The new program pairs undergraduate students with business professionals from around the country who provide real-world guidance as the students embark on business careers. Launched in fall 2009, the program is unique at the undergraduate level and matches students with mentors based on a variety of characteristics including field of study, desired geographic location after graduation, career interests and personality.
Program coordinator Katie Connor said, “The value that PMP mentors are providing to Leeds students through their advice, encouragement, contacts and the occasional nudge is undeniable.”
PMP consists of a minimum of one meeting or phone call (for out-of-state mentors) per semester for four semesters. However, mentors and students are encouraged to meet and communicate above and beyond these minimums as personal schedules allow.
Its popularity is reflected by its rapid growth. The program currently serves 400 students with more than 300 mentors. The impact of the program on students and their appreciation of the volunteer mentors that make it possible is reflected in students’ feedback.
“PMP has helped me grow personally and professionally over the last two years and I cannot say enough about the strengths of this program and how important it is,” said Adele Fowler, class of 2011.
The experience has been positive for the mentors as well.
“This is a very strong program” said Brad Blackwell, executive vice president and retail national sales manager for Wells Fargo Bank. “The simple process of bringing together student and mentor along with the support you provide is plenty to allow for a rich experience.”