1. What inspired you to join the VSB mentor program?
“I was interested in the Mentor Program because I knew it would be a good way to gain professional insight on choosing a career path. I also wanted someone who could help me grow my network, particularly in the Boston area. However, the main reason I joined the VSB Mentor Program was because it seemed like a great opportunity to meet someone who was experienced and could provide counsel when I had questions. Whether it was choosing a major, reviewing my resume, or looking at job possibilities, I knew having a Villanova alumnus who shared my values would be an amazing resource.” - Jenna
“When I first saw the opportunity to become a part of this program, so many things resonated with me. In no particular order, this is what came to mind:
- Mentoring would give me an opportunity to connect first hand with the school.
- I wish I had a mentor when I was in college.
- I already do a lot of mentoring with younger employees at my firm, and with friends’ sons and daughters who are looking for advice. Why not do it with fellow future alums?
- It’s a great way to give back and make our school a better place.” - Lee
2. How has your experience compared to your expectation?
“My experience has far exceeded my expectations. Lee has been a tremendous help throughout my years at Nova, and I’m so happy to have him as my mentor. From proofing my resume sophomore year to helping me find an internship this past summer, he has always been so enthusiastic about setting me up for success. While I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to major in, he had me shadow people in different departments of his company to see what interested me. He was also instrumental in helping me find an internship this past summer that I absolutely loved. I can always tell that he not only wants me to succeed, but he also wants me to be happy.” - Jenna
“My expectations have been exceeded! Jenna has been a wonderful listener and it has been incredible sharing and imparting the wisdom I have on a student who wants to succeed. I also feel humbled that people like us can make such an impression on current students. We started talking two years ago and I feel like Jenna has been able to glean so much from the things we have discussed.” - Lee
3. What makes your relationship a successful one?
“I think our relationship is successful because we are very open with each other. I can ask Lee anything and know I will get an honest response. He has so much experience under his belt which gives him a very unique viewpoint, and I really appreciate that. Communication has also been a reason for our success. We are both very busy, but we always try our best to meet up in Boston for coffee, and will text each other just to check in.” - Jenna
“Jenna has been so open to meeting when she is home in Boston, and makes such a great impression on everyone I set her up with, that she not only makes herself a better employment candidate but also makes me look good at the same time (which is hard to do!). People have gone out of their way after their first interaction to make sure she has what she needs and usually follow up asking what else they can do to help her.” - Lee
4. What has been the best part about having a mentor/mentee?
“The best part about having a mentor has been having someone who always supports me and is there to be my guide when I’m not sure what to do or where to go next. Additionally, Lee has helped me grow my network immensely. He has so many connections and is always trying to put me in contact with anyone he thinks would be a good resource. He always has my best interests at heart and truly wants me to be successful.” - Jenna
“The fact that I have had such an impact on someone’s development, aside from my own children, and that she is so appreciative of what I have helped her with, is the most rewarding. Jenna was able to intern at a company in Boston that really suited her potential interests, and likely, she will end up getting an offer from them upon graduation. Additionally, while we all know the success of VU’s basketball team has made us feel proud of our connection to Villanova, this experience has been made me even more proud of my affiliation; so much so that I have asked to mentor more students so that, in the end, I can have my own “family tree” of mentees.” - Lee
5. Do you have a best practice to share with other pairs in the program?
“The best advice I would give to other pairs in the Mentor Program is don’t be afraid to ask questions. I’ve learned so much from Lee about the workplace that I wouldn’t have learned in school because I’m comfortable asking him about things I don’t know. He has helped me through many situations where I wasn’t exactly sure of the next step. Mentors are a wealth of knowledge, so the more questions you ask, the more information you’ll have. In my opinion, it is one of the best ways to be prepared for life after college.”
“If you become a mentor in this Program, put as much into it as you can. You honestly do not realize how much of a mark you make on these young, impressionable students that we all once were. We all have that in common. Any help you can provide from your network or your experience is more than any of the students had before they met you. Whether you realize it or not, you are making Villanova stronger by making our students better candidates in the workforce, and on a better track to be successful alums. This can then be carried forward for generations and you can be an integral part of that process.” - Lee