School of Business students now have the opportunity to participate in the MasonMentor program. Students have the opportunity to connect with professionals in the Women in Business Initiative (WIBI) which is open to all majors, as well as the Mason MINDS - Mentoring Initiative for Need-based and Diverse Students—which is for accounting students. Together, the two programs have continued to grow and attract both students and alumni.
The School of Business Office of Career Services coordinates the MasonMentor program which will soon be a fully integrated, online platform that will allow students to log in, create a profile and find professional mentors. MasonMentors will be available to School of Business students upon their return to campus in January, 2020. The Career Services team provides the necessary support to help students take full advantage of the wonderful mentorship opportunities available.
Talmar Anderson, former WIBI chair, says students were requesting mentorship opportunities at their events, and board members wanted to step up to share their experiences and advice. The program launched in fall 2017.
“Many WIBI members can point to very specific advice, mentors, and experiences that inspired and guided us along our path to our current careers. However, all of us can point to times when we would have loved to have had access and time from more people with specific answers to ease and possibly quicken our success,” says Anderson.
Tyler Tep, a senior majoring in information systems and operations management, has participated in the WIBI mentorship program for the last two years. He says his mentors have connected him business leaders, both at Mason and in the Washington, D.C., area.
“They’ve been there to help with any challenges I’ve faced in my internship search, or as a student balancing work and academics. I’ve also been able to learn so much from the advice they’ve given me as I enter the workforce,” says Tep. “They truly are a gateway into the professional world and have surely made that transition from school to the professional field far easier for me.”
JK Aier, accounting associate professor and area chair, created Mason MINDS. Erin Ogburn, BA Integrative Studies ’01 and Accounting Advisory Council chair, and Shin Nan Goto, BS Accounting ’07 and Accounting Advisory Council member, also assisted with the launch of Mason MINDS in fall 2018.
“An often underestimated component for building a successful career is early mentorship. This issue becomes even more critical for students navigating the roadmap to become an accounting professional, because it requires planning and decision making during the early years in the major,” says Aier. “The yearlong mentoring process is designed to support student efforts by providing dedicated mentors who are highly motivated to encourage the next generation.”
Syed Jafri is one of the Mason MINDS students who has a jumpstart on the internship and networking process.
“I thank Mason MINDS and my mentor for providing me with information, such as interviewing skills and networking tips, which helped me attain my current position as an intern at YHB CPAs. Through the mentorship program, I have improved my professionalism, time-management, and leadership skills,” says Jafri, an accounting sophomore.