“Mentor” can be an intimidating word. To some, it implies a large commitment on the part of the mentor and their mentee. To others, it means that you must be at the pinnacle of your professional career to offer insights. At Endicott College, we see things differently. Meeting new people and forging meaningful connections does not have to be a frightening or time-consuming experience. Moreover, it does not look the same for every matched pair.
In early November, we will be introducing a new platform, The Nest, that will expand mentoring options to include the Gull2Gull Mentoring Program as well as a new flash mentoring option. Simply put, alumni will now be able to decide to engage with both current students and fellow alumni in a quick manner or have a more long-term commitment.
Expanding Your Network
Rachel Lustenring, sport management graduate '19.Past mentees have loved the opportunity to expand their Gull network. Rachel Lustenring, sport management graduate ‘19 credits the program with the expansion of her network and ultimately, the launch of her career.
“I would absolutely recommend this program to another person,” says Lustenring. “The way I look at it is that if I wasn’t a part of this program, I would have never met my mentor which means I probably wouldn’t be working where I am today. This program is more than connecting with someone from the industry you might be working in—it’s about life in general. My mentor was there to help throughout my professional career, hockey career, work-life balance, apartment search, and more. I know that if I ever have a question or need advice, I can always turn to her.”
A New Perspective
Sharon Phelan, criminal justice graduate '07.Sharon Phelan, criminal justice graduate '07 found a new motivational force inside of her after mentoring. “I graduated from Endicott over a decade ago. For me, it was insightful and rather inspirational to see the excitement and the drive the students have to obtain careers and be successful. It was refreshing for me to see their motivation and quite frankly, it made me a little more motivated to sign up for trainings to develop and grow my career as well. It actually made me think about becoming an adjunct professor at Endicott, to hopefully teach and prepare more students for the workforce.”
Sometimes the program is capable of showing you your true self. For Double Gull, Lauren Hervieux ’18 M’19—who is a criminal justice graduate and holds a Master of Science in Homeland Security Studies shifted her career trajectory for the better. “My experience shadowing my mentor was very eye-opening and actually dissuaded me away from a job I thought I wanted. It introduced me to other jobs I was unaware of and allowed me to meet people working in a different position that I am now interested in and working towards achieving.”
Varied Schedules & Relationships
As we noted previously, mentoring schedules can be short and informative or can develop into longer relationships over time. Amelia Papadakis, interior design graduate '17 had such a positive experience as a mentee that she became a mentor. “When I was a mentee I was working through my senior thesis, so I would meet up with my mentor about every two months to show her progress. When I was a mentor, my mentee was a sophomore and had more frequent projects so we would facetime almost every other week—or whenever she had questions.”
Why Gulls Sign Up for The Nest
Our mentors and mentees have different reasons for joining The Nest. For Ted Stanton, Master of Business Administration '07 it was an opportunity to give back and connect. “I asked for a graduate student since I was familiar with my graduate program experience. It was good to connect with what a Fifth Year graduate student to understand what they are interested in and how they would approach entering into the workforce.”
For Kirsten Smith-Sparrow, interior design graduate '11 it was because of her positive mentee experience. “I was a part of the Endicott mentoring program starting in my freshman year all the way through senior year with the same mentor, Catherine Cleare, a high-end residential designer from Connecticut who did a lot of work in New York City where I am originally from. We would meet in New York City for special exhibits and events in interior design, and I learned so much from her and also through constant contact via email and phone calls. I could always reach out to her for anything.
“I wanted to give back to Endicott and the interior design program through this mentor program since it was a huge part of my college experience. I wanted to provide professional advice and assist on project work in any way that I could because through personal experience I was able to provide the insight needed.”Ashley Walenta, sport management graduate '14.
And Ashley Walenta, sport management graduate '14 found several internships and her first job as a result of the mentoring program. “I chose to be a mentor in The Nest community because mentors have played and continue to play a huge role throughout my entire career. While I was a student at Endicott, I was able to connect with several alumni that helped me secure internships and eventually my first job. Without their willingness to mentor me, I would not be where I am in my career today. So, I have always taken that with me and wanted to pay that forward to other Endicott students.”
The Nest is currently focused on recruiting alumni, but soon, it will be available to current students as well. As we always say, “once a Gull, always a Gull.”