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Backpack to Briefcase: Professional Skill-Building Track

Villanova School of Business’ Mentor Program:

A Long-Term, Stable, and Mutually Beneficial Relationship

By Brennan Ebert

Business relationships are one type of relationship that is sure to be long-term, stable, and mutually beneficial, and the Villanova University School of Business ensures that its students begin to form such a relationship early in their endeavors. This is exhibited especially in the Mentor Program, of which I attended an Information Session for on October 23, 2019. The session allowed business students to become familiar with the program’s processes, from explaining how a student can join the program after he or she has declared their business major to listing methods of how a mentor and mentee remain in contact throughout the program (and for many, after the program’s conclusion). The program was quite popular among the current freshmen in the Business School, and from what I gathered at the Information Session, the Mentor Program is a brilliant opportunity to supplement one’s education with a new business connection (who also happens to have a Villanova education) that can prepare a student for his or her future endeavors in the workplace. It enriches students’ insight into their career interests and professional development goals, helping them grow as an individual and as a businessperson.

So how does the program work? First, the Mentor Program pairs one student with a Villanova business alumnus. The pair commit to a minimum of two years of interaction, with conversations occurring at least once a month. This means that the conversation between the mentor and mentee will continue, at the absolute minimum, up until the mentee’s graduation from the Villanova School of Business. All mentors have work experience – many with three years or more in one field – and the mentees have the chance to choose their mentors based on their own fields of interest, allowing for a greater connection through a common interest. Erin Corcoran, a graduate from the Business School in 2018, affirms that working with a mentor in her preferred industry of Real Estate was a “perfect way for me to determine where I wanted to take my career.” Her mentor, Scott, graduated in 2007. Scott emphasizes the benefits of having a common field of interest with his partner as well, recalling that he was able to “share real world situations … [that] she may face.” However, the Villanova School of Business differentiates itself in that it works to ensure that both the mentor and the mentee reap benefits from its Mentor Program. Scott also highlights that Erin “has been able to do the same” in explaining situations from her work. What the pair gained from their relationship was deepened due to their identical Real Estate backgrounds.

Throughout the Information Session, the administrators listed several enhancements that participation in the Mentor Program can bring for business students. For business students, networking is extremely important. As explained in the previous paragraph with Erin and Scott, the Mentor Program provides direct interaction with a Villanova alumnus who likely shares a common field of interest with students. Alongside this, the diversity of alumni mentors means that they are knowledgeable in many fields of work and a wide variety of business career paths, and they are especially eager to share their knowledge with fellow Villanovans. The mentors’ familiarity also allows them to provide valuable and detailed insight into their industries, as well as advice regarding internships at prominent firms in their respective fields.

Overall, with its extensive list of benefits, Villanova Business’ Mentor Program presents a unique, personalized, and extended connection to business. Its feature of extensive discourse with an experienced businessperson alone makes the Mentor Program worthwhile for any business student at Villanova. It is a program that I myself plan to participate in after I declare my major at the conclusion of my sophomore year, and the opportunity to partake in such a personalized opportunity excites me!

You can find more information about the Mentor Program through this link:

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