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Over 30 Business Alumni Attend Mentorship Day

October 24, 2018 Tags: Academics , Alumni , Business and Communications

More than 30 Shields School of Business alumni traveled from across the country to attend the inaugural Mentorship Day at Saint Francis University on October 19th. Over 200 Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Management, and other Business majors had the opportunity to meet with the accomplished alums, many of who were in their shoes just a few years ago. 

The day was filled with engaging events such as Speed Networking, a Shark Tank-style competition, and a number of seminars covering a range of topics from Doing Business Globally and Branding Yourself Online, to Women in Business and Resume/Interview Tips, Techniques, and Internships. The students had many opportunities to speak with alumni one-on-one, asking questions and receiving personalized career and academic guidance.

Dean of Shields School of Business, Dr. Randy Frye, thanked his former students for giving back to their alma mater in such an impactful way. “We all need mentors, people who support us, provide us guidance and are sounding boards in our busy and sometimes complicated lives. I thank every alumni out there who has chosen to become that someone, and to become that mentor.”

Alums were notably excited to be back in Loretto, commenting on the many enhancements made to the university, particularly within the newly-renovated Schwab Hall. The Shields School of Business home recently underwent a multi-million dollar upgrade, including the addition of new classrooms and collaborative study spaces, a stock ticker in its grand lobby, and a modern café that serves Starbucks refreshments. 

“It’s good to see the new building and all the things that have changed,” said alumnus Sean Barker (Marketing, ‘10). He went on to tout the value of Mentorship Day, adding “I absolutely got something out of today, and I think the students got a great deal out of it as well. I’ve spoken with several fellow alumni who have echoed the same sentiments.”

Mentorship Day Photos

Shields’ faculty decided to conclude Mentorship Day with their annual Invest for Success competition, organized by Enactus co-advisors Ms. Nicole Bauman, Assistant Professor Kent Tonkin, and their team of student volunteers. Funded by the Dr. Albert Zanzuccki Endowment and modeled after the television show Shark Tank, the competition gives students a chance to “pitch” business ideas to professional judges for a chance to win startup funding. Distinguished Shields School of Business alumni served as judges.

First place was awarded to Mathematics/ Computer Science student Ryan Alu, who won $1,500 for his volleyball statistics software solution. Alumni Judge and President of Precision Business Solutions, Brian Shirft ( Management Information Systems, ‘05), was so impressed with the software that he awarded Ryan an additional $1,000 in funds to bring this project to market. Accounting/ MBA student, Connor McDonnell, placed second and received $500 to jumpstart an environmental-friendly burial service. 

“It was an awesome experience,” said Management and Marketing double-major, Kenny Brumbaugh. “I enjoyed networking with alumni and learning about their careers. I’m excited to reach out to them about internship opportunities down the road.”

Dr. Miko expressed his gratitude to the alumni who have volunteered their time to give back to students. “I cannot tell you what a pleasure today has been, personally, for myself and for the Shields’ faculty. To see former students to grow into successful, content business people, and to offer advice and insights into our current students—that is the highest level of job satisfaction anyone can have. It’s been a very special day for me, and I am very proud of each of them.”

The First of Many Mentorship Days

Mentorship Day is part of the Shields School of Business’ Backpack to Briefcase Program, which provides students a detailed 4-year academic and extracurricular plan designed to give students all the tools to launch their career immediately post-graduation. The program includes involvement in student groups such as the Enactus and Investment Clubs, and participation in Spring Break in London, a business-focused educational trip that allows students and faculty to tour the Bank of England and other global financial institutions. 

Also included in the Backpack to Briefcase program is the Mentorship Program, which aligns with Mentorship Day. The program carefully pairs business students with alumni who provide them with one-on-one guidance via phone, email, and in-person correspondence throughout the duration of their time at SFU careers. Many alums participating in the program had the opportunity to catch up with their mentees on Mentorship Day.

Dr. John Miko, Associate Dean of the Shields School of Business, launched the Mentorship Program and organized Mentorship Day. “I recognized that one of our strengths as a university—and especially within the Shields School of Business—is the incredible success of our alumni and their strong affinity for our school and programs.”

Dr. Miko expects Mentorship Day to be an annual event, and looks forward to the growing opportunities it will provide for both students and alumni. 

Mentorship Day 2018

Learn more:

Mentorship Day 2018 Alumni Participants

Mentorship Program

Backpack to Briefcase Program


Shields School of Business