A large group of mentors and mentees of the CSUF Mihaylo College Executive Council Mentoring Program

Mentors and mentees gather at the Executive Council Mentoring Program Kickoff in February 2018. The program gives students direct access to leaders in their chosen field.

Mihaylo College’s Executive Council connects students with members of the council, many of whom are alumni, through a mentoring program designed to prepare students for careers in their industries of interest. The program is currently seeking mentors for future sessions.

Having direct access to a professional in your field would be the dream of many students. This wish can be a reality thanks to the Executive Council Mentoring Program, which connects students involved in the Business Inter-Club Council, Student Advisory Board and Business Honors program with industry leaders.

Reflections of a Mentor

Andrew Eberline ’14 (MBA), a project manager for The Walt Disney Company, served as a mentor during the 2017 rotation providing guidance to Arron Nhan Nguyen ’12, ’17 (marketing and M.S.-information systems), who is seeking an IT-related career.

“The role of being a mentor is a great opportunity. If you have recently graduated you may not feel like you have the wealth of experience a mentee would be looking for,” says Eberline. “It is very easy to overlook or not consider the relevancy of your professional experience – you will realize this in the moment when working with a student. Being a mentor has challenged me to help find answers to my mentee’s questions.”

Eberline says serving as Nguyen’s mentor opened his eyes to the opportunities available in IT. “I enjoyed brainstorming about how to reach his long-term goals. His future potential and overall excitement was invigorating,” says Eberline. “I’ve learned a great deal about the many opportunities throughout IT and data analysis. Learning about these trends increases my versatility with the occasional IT driven projects I execute.”

Students, mentors and Mihaylo College faculty at an Executive Council event

“Students can explore and discover more about themselves through learning and interacting with mentors,” says mentee Arron Nhan Nguyen ’12, ’17. “In the midst of learning, they can rely on a mentor for words of reassurance or advice.”

A Student’s Perspective

Nguyen says he identified a set of goals that he wanted to achieve through his mentee experience. “I wanted to learn more about my mentor’s perspective on developing a successful career while maintaining work-life balance. We had quite a few discussions on this topic, which is very important to both of us. During the program, I expressed my interest and professional goals to Andrew and he helped me tremendously in breaking them down to smaller and more actionable milestones,” he says.

Nguyen came away from the experience with a greater understanding of the importance of developing and maintaining a personal network. “In both my professional and personal life, I value relationships and believe that life is a journey and that no one should go through it alone,” he says. “As a mentee, I have observed all that my mentors have done for me to pass those qualities to my mentees in the future. I hope to contribute to the professions of others and continue to be a life-long learner.”

Nguyen, who wanted to be a mentee in the program since it was first introduced in 2015, encourages his fellow students to avail themselves of this opportunity. “Through such programs, students can explore and discover more about themselves through learning and interacting with mentors. In the midst of learning, they can rely on a mentor for words of reassurance or advice,” says Nguyen. “It is during those times that the mentoring relationship is tested and can become stronger. Mentoring provides benefits that extend far beyond the formal, outward titles of ‘mentor’ or ‘mentee.’ Personally, it is nice to know that I made a new friend along the way.”

Alex Lopez '12 (MBA-marketing) shares insights with Mihaylo College students

The Executive Council Mentoring Program is currently seeking mentors, including alumni and other business leaders, so that it may service additional students in future sessions.

How to Get Involved

The Executive Council connects Mihaylo College with the industry expertise of alumni and other professionals in the Southern California community. The council increases the college’s visibility across related industries, provides funding for academic excellence and facilitates mentoring opportunities for students.

The mentoring program is currently seeking mentors, including alumni and other business leaders, so that it may service more students in future sessions. Want to play a role in assisting a student in their professional development? For more information or to join the program, contact Trish Reed, associate director of corporate and foundation relations, at trishreed@fullerton.edu.