Nicole Anderson '19 VSB and Jessica Gerber '93 VSB

Nicole Anderson '19 VSB and Jessica Gerber '93 VSB

1. What inspired you to join the VSB mentor program?    

“This program was a great way to marry two passions: Villanova and mentorship. Having benefited from excellent mentors throughout my career, the VSB Mentor Program offered an important forum to pay it forward and to stay connected with the Villanova community.” –Jessica

“I saw the program as an opportunity to connect with a Villanova alumna, and develop a professional relationship with a person in my field of study. I also saw it as a chance to gain insights and advice from an experienced professional.” – Nicole

2. How has your experience compared to your expectation?

“I have loved the relationship aspect of this program – it allows Nicole and me to focus on the whole person, not just transactional needs. Our relationship has been built over the past two years, and we are heavily invested in making both our relationship and the program successful, so much that we are currently the only student/mentor pair on the VSB Mentor Program Advisory Board.” – Jessica

“My experience in the program exceeded my expectation. Jessica and I have a relationship that extends beyond career advice; we care about each other on a personal level. I think the VSB Mentor Program uniquely reflects the Augustinian values interwoven in Villanova culture. Pairs are encouraged to approach the mentor experience holistically and truly get to know one another. At the end of the day, we are all multifaceted human beings with many different interests that make up who we are and how we define success.” - Nicole

3. What makes your relationship a successful one?

“Commitment and communication. We are both committed to making this a successful relationship and in turn are open and transparent in our communication with one another.” - Jessica

“Besides being relationship-centered, I think that a hallmark of a successful mentor-mentee pair is communication. Jessica and I respect each other’s time and lives outside of our careers and the Mentor Program. We make time to connect about once a month, but I also know that she is there for me whenever I need her outside of that.” – Nicole

4. What has been the best part about having a mentor/mentee?    

“I love experiencing the new Villanova through Nicole. VSB and its offerings to students have evolved so much since my time and hearing firsthand from Nicole really brings the new Villanova to life and reconnects me in a more personal, meaningful way.” – Jessica

“For me, the best part about a mentor has been having a sound voice of reason for advice about my career path outside of my friends and family, and a window into what life is like post-graduation. Jessica is still very involved with the Villanova community, so she is a role model to me for how to stay connected on campus in the future. I have been so in awe of how much she – and the rest of the mentors in the program – truly care about students and want to help us become successful.” – Nicole

5. Do you have a best practice to share with other pairs in the program?

“Nicole and I respect each other – we both have busy lives and different goals for the program, so we have figured out an approach that works for both of us. This is a two-way relationship so there’s no cookie cutter approach, just the best foot forward by both of us.” – Jessica

“Like any relationship, you have to figure out what works best for you. There is no perfect approach. What matters is that you’re being genuine and giving your best effort to make it an impactful, rewarding experience for both of you.” – Nicole