Spring Into Mentoring!
J. McLoughlin, Director, Executives on Campus
Experience Comes in Many Forms
If you ever happen to meet a male member of our branch of the O’Rourke clan, you will invariably hear one of us start a sentence with, "Did you know..." It’s genetic and goes back as far as any of our elders can remember. Now the information imparted on the listener is typically trivial, but there have been documented instances where true value was gleaned from the utterances (these occasions have been validated by independent 3rd parties). This innate desire "to impart wisdom" is just one reason why my dad and I have become members of the Baruch mentoring program.
J. McLoughlin, director of the EOC program, thought it would be a clever idea to have us write an article on why we both became involved with the program, and highlight how we’ve found the experience. We're never short on words, so we figure why not.
Now a first-person account - actually two first-person accounts - of the EOC mentoring experience is a great idea. In practice, after the fourth draft we realized a traditional article became a little unwieldy and self-aggrandizing. So we adopted the Q&A structure below (with side notes to put the answers in perspective). Enjoy.
Sean (son): So who introduced you to the Baruch mentoring program?
John (dad): "A good friend, Ed Sermier, introduced me to the program back in 2008. I’d been tutoring high school students for six years and thought it would be a good challenge to work with older students who had already chosen a career direction. At the time Ed was head mentor at the School for Public Affairs, but I told him my experience made me better suited for the business school."
NOTE FROM SEAN: My dad retired from banking in 2000 after a 35 year career. To be honest, it was the first time I was ever truly envious of him.
Sean: How’s the experience been?
John: "Wonderful. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I’ve made lasting friendships with students from many countries and learned a great deal about their cultures. My current mentee, Shengnan Yang, is from China.
"In addition to the international exposure, mentoring has helped, actually forced, me to stay current on the financial world which is constantly changing."
Sean: Ok, enough about you. Why'd you introduce me?
John: (Laugh, snide remark deleted) "Well, I thought you had the perfect resume to work with the future entrepreneurs. A number of students I talked to had a desire to start their own businesses and I hadn’t done that."
NOTE FROM SEAN: I’ve started/invested in a number of startups. Currently I run a technology consulting services firm, Syzygy 3 (www.syzygy3.com), with my two business partners. Also, my wife and I are investors in a music artist management firm out of Nashville, TN, called Capstone Artists. Our first artist, Glen Templeton (www.glentempleton.com), is about to release his second single on Black River Entertainment, "Sing That Song Again."
John: Let me ask you about your experience thus far.
Sean: "It’s been good. My mentee (Beatrice Lukumai) is from Tanzania, with a truly interesting background and family history. While she’s not on an entrepreneur path (she’ll be interning for KPMG this summer), it’s been fun talking to her about the differences between working for someone versus owning the company, the politics involved (how they’re always there), and the benefits of networking, regardless of what you do. I’ve even been able to have her attend networking events, which is always an eye-opener."
John: So it’s been worth the effort?
Sean: "Definitely. The exposure to the students and their ideas makes it as beneficial to me as to them. Though, I still think they’re coming out ahead."
John: In your humble opinion.
Sean: "Opinion? Anyway, I’m going to give J. (Jacqueline McLoughlin) a good close. I was so impressed with the program, in just my first few months, that I introduced Susan to J, and Susan will be taking part in some of the 2012 programs. And you know Susan, she doesn’t do anything if she can’t see it making a positive impact."
NOTE FROM SEAN: Susan is Susan Combs, my wife and president of Combs & Company, a full-service insurance brokerage firm (www.combsandco.com). Susan is also a national board member for Women in Insurance & Financial Services (www.wifsnational.org) and she’s strongly committed to helping more women navigate and succeed in the industry (and business in general). Susan will be speaking at EOC’s Job$mart Career Hour panel on May 1st: Insurance and the Financial Services Industry: Partnering for Success.
John: Hey, weren’t we supposed to talk about being the first father/son pairing?
Sean: "Eh, if we were the first father-son duo to graduate with the same class that might be interesting. Father-son mentors, not really sure we’re making any headlines there. Though since we are the first it does make us unique."
The remainder of the phone conversation devolved into topics on sports, current events, a bit of pop culture, when our next football season was due to start (Susan and I play in a coed touch league). But we hope our positive experience with the Executive on Campus program came through clearly. Baruch has done a tremendous job of putting resources within reach of students who might not normally get this sort of attention. The school and those who run the program are to be commended for a job well done.
This is the O’Rourkes signing off.
Network to Intern, Intern to Network My Internship @ the ARF
Imagine an internship where you get to work directly with executive vice presidents and subject matter experts. Where you also get to meet VPs, CEO’s & chief scientists from companies such as comScore, Survey Monkey, Nielsen, and Kantar,just to name a few.
Thanks to networking through the EOC program, I landed an amazing opportunity to intern as a research intern at the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF). http://www.thearf.org At the ARF, I work directly with the research team, some of whom hold titles such as executive vice president and director. Through this experience, I have had the honor of reviewing market research proposals with EVP of Media, David Marans and being part of research quality meetings focused on developing standards for new research tools with EVP of Research and Standards, Bill Cook. Not only do the people I work with hold big tittles, they come from renowned companies such as JWT, NBC, Y&R, IBM, and DuPont.
The networking doesn’t stop once you land the internship -- it just gets better. When you are an intern for people who have had long, successful careers, they usually want to help you to develop the beginning of your own long, successful career. I’ve had coffee with ARF EVP Dr. Horst Stipp, a big player in NeuroMarketing Research Initiatives. Already, the ARF Knowledge Center’s (a center where members can access thousands of current historical documents about advertising research) Director and Author, Steve Rappaport, connected me with a former Baruch MBA-Statistics graduate who is already enjoying success in the market research field. On Feb 21st I attended a Young Pro’s event with the Director of Digital & Social Media, Sheila Seles. At the event I saw insightful presentations and had an opportunity to network with industry professionals, whom were all under the age of 30 (a very encouraging experience).
I am interested in pursuing a career in the market research industry. Currently, I am a student in the MS in Statistics program. The statistics program consists of important classes about sampling, experiment design, regression, probability, and SAS software. While these classes are all vital to market research, they are not marketing classes. My experience at the ARF enhances my education at Baruch by giving me a direct education about the market research industry. As an intern, I get to attend the ARF forum events which only member agencies get to attend. At forums, leaders and innovators in market research get together and share ideas on a specific advertising research subject. I’ve attended forums on neuroscience, research quality, youth, social media and shopper insights. During my internship, I look forward to attending more forums.
In addition to forums, I will get to attend the ARF’s annual Re:Think convention, a 3 day convention full of professionals gaining insight into the future of market research. So while I may only be paid a lunch stipend and a monthly metro card, the industry knowledge I gain, contacts I meet, and the resume experience is priceless.
I want to give a special “Thank You” to members of the EOC program that assisted me in landing such a great opportunity: Janet Mangano, my wonderful mentor through the Executives Student Partnership (ESP) who goes above and beyond and makes herself accessible round the clock to assist me with everything from resume development and interview prep, to networking, to balancing professional, school, and personal responsibilities, Dan Choi, a mentor whose workshop series Do You Have What it Takes helps participants brand themselves and prepare for various types of interview styles (at Dan’s workshop, I made connections that lead to both the internship and becoming part of the Zicklin Women in Business (ZWIB) executive board), Marvin Tolkin, my unofficial mentor who encourages me to take advantage of all the opportunities I can, Jack Pullara, GCMC’s “great new find,” who offers career development advice moving forward, Justyn Makarewycz, GCMC’s employer relations specialist, whose recent organization of CareerFest connected students to professionals and opportunity and most importantly, Program Director of EOC, J. McLoughlin, whose hard work produces great EOC events filled with talented and knowledgeable mentors. J. McLoughlin brings so much value to Baruch students, she is the backbone of the EOC and a true Baruch gem!
The SmartPitch Challenge - Virtual Incubation with Online Mentorship
This spring, young entrepreneurs from New York City area colleges and universities have the opportunity to compete in the SmartPitch Challenge, to celebrate New York City as a center for innovation and new business development.
A kick-off event was hosted on February 3 at Baruch College, which brought out more than 150 student entrepreneurs, educators and business mentors who learned about the series of supporting events that will lead up to the formal SmartPitch competition scheduled on June 6.
The SmartPitch Challenge is a partnership of the CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise (IVE), the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch College, IBM and the Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator. SmartPitch is the culmination of a Virtual Incubation process that invites student entrepreneurs to develop, pitch, validate and launch business ideas in a social networking environment by using IBM’s Smarter Cities as well as Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC as organizing frameworks.
A series of support events, workshops, roundtables and mentorships lead to the SmartPitch Challenge competition on June 6, where student entrepreneurs will make their presentations "pitches" and compete against other New York universities and colleges. Five winning teams will be selected to participate in a summer-long business incubator ending with the launch of their concepts. The Summer Incubator includes: Entrepreneurship Boot Camp in Vermont, Incubator Space at Sunshine, Bronx, expert IBM Mentorships, access to the entrepreneurship network in virtual and real space, and summer stipends. Winners will present their new businesses in the fall, 2012 and be recognized as IVE Fellows in a continuing support network.
How to get involved?
Zicklin’s Office of Graduate Admissions
Zicklin’s Office of Graduate Admissions is an amazing place – and I have an amazing job. Little did I know when I walked through the doors of Baruch College in spring of 1995 to inquire about doing a graduate degree that I would be sitting in this chair. I have the pleasure of working with an amazing staff and a phenomenal and dedicated graduate programs team. Together, we work to build the reputation of Baruch and especially its Graduate Business Programs.
When I was asked to write for the EOC newsletter, I thought of what might be important for you to know about an admissions office - and in particular Zicklin’s Graduate Admissions office.
Those of us who work as admissions professionals know that what we do is a balancing act. We balance quantity with quality.
On one hand, we owe the students we admit a fair analysis of their ability and their expectations. Our programs are rigorous, and it would be totally unfair for us to admit a student who the admissions committee feels will not be able to keep up with the work required. To determine this, we review transcripts and standardized test scores.
We also want to manage their expectations. We don’t want our students to feel that they were misled into believing that we could deliver what we cannot; or that their graduate degree alone is the "golden ticket" that will open a world of possibilities for them. So we read their essays, review their resumes and, in many cases, conduct personal interviews - all to determine their future goals and to help them decide if Zicklin fits into the picture.
On the other hand, since the tuition that students pay is vital to the health of the school, we need to get the right number of students in the seats. This is not accomplished by just admitting anyone who applies. The quality of our student body is upmost in our minds as we make decisions. It is important that our students have a rewarding experience and that they are challenged not only by their professors but also by their fellow students and teammates. It is also important that they study with a diverse group who will become part of their future network and, hopefully, lifelong friends and colleagues.
In addition to collecting documents and reviewing applications, the Zicklin Graduate Admissions office is responsible for the recruiting, outreach and marketing of our programs. We travel the US and the world meeting with and speaking to prospective students. We communicate by mail, email and all the latest social media. We collaborate with our colleagues to create marketing pieces and to decide on marketing campaigns.
And, we reach out to folks like you. You are involved here at Baruch - so we know that you appreciate this College. I know that we ask a lot of our friends - your time, your funding, and jobs for our students. It seems, however, that there is one thing missing. So, I will end by asking you for one more favor: Recommend Zicklin Graduate programs to your colleagues, friends, family members, mentees - all who are considering returning to school – and who may have a graduate business degree in their future. Refer them directly to me, or to my colleague, Tom Lo. Be sure to let us know a friend of yours will be contacting us. Either of us will be glad to meet them - at any time.
Note from J. McLoughlin:
Dear EOC Community,
I want to thank you for all the support you have given me during my time at Baruch College. It is a bittersweet moment, but I wanted to let you know that I will be leaving as Director of Executives on Campus. I have been so privileged to work with such passionate colleagues, dedicated mentors and bright students. EOC has truly become my family and I will miss working with you all.
My last full day at Baruch will be April 13th but I will continue on as a consultant to ensure that our programming through the end of the year continues successfully. I can still be reached via my Baruch email through May 25th. The College is very supportive of the EOC program and the search committee process to hire two new positions is underway.
EOC is a very special and unique program and I am so proud to have shared the experience with you, the EOC Community, which is the heart and soul of the organization.
I am moving on to be the Director of Membership, North America at the Mobile Marketing Association and I hope that our paths will cross again.
Find EOC on the Web!
Save the Date! Upcoming EOC Events:
Job$mart Career Hour - April 17, 15; May 1, 8
Mentor for a Morning - April 24 - School of Public Affairs Students