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Angie Davis, director of the MBA program, says, “More of what they do is involved outside of any academic area. We try to match students up with mentors who are in their possible career path or a field that they are interested in.”
Meet the mentor
Matt McQueary, a current MBA student, participated in the mentor program in 2010. Being new to Drury, Matt started out in the Master’s program but was soon welcomed by his mentor, Marc Mayer. Marc is the assistant vice president of Great Southern Bank in Springfield and a Drury alum. During their first meeting, both immediately found a common interest.
“[Marc] also played basketball for Drury when he attended the university,” Matt explains. “I'm a huge basketball fan. I play weekly, so it was a great non-formal talking point when we first met.”
During a mentorship, students are encouraged to meet regularly with their mentors. Students join mentors for meetings or lunch, but also for other activities.
Matt says, “We met for drinks every month, but we also would get lunch or do other activities as well, such as golf. We mostly talked about classes and the program, but we also discussed other things, like March Madness, hobbies, and our future plans.”
Explore the business world
A part of the mentor program allows students to meet with Springfield business people, but it also gives students an insight on the professional world and a chance to ask questions.
MBA student, Leah Hein, took advantage of the opportunity. During the 2011-2012 school year, she met with Michael Finch, the Chief Financial Officer at City Utilities.
Michael says, “[Leah] asked some very challenging questions and I really enjoyed the opportunity to share with her what I believe are a few keys to success.”
Leah’s questions led her to receive important advice. “We talked about everything from resume tips to personal financial planning to the challenges of managing employees. I think one of the most important things that came up in several conversations was to ‘pay attention to detail.’ Mr. Finch really emphasized this idea without coming right out and saying it,” Leah explains.
Learn through a different perspective
Breech tries to match up students and mentors in the best way possible. While not all students are set up with mentors who have the same career goals, they still find the opportunity to be helpful for their future.
Kevin Dearlove, who will be graduating from Breech in August, was introduced to Lola Butcher, a health policy writer. Lola advised Kevin to be open to other future possibilities.
“This mentoring experience was absolutely energizing to me,” Lola says. “As I coached Kevin to explore many opportunities rather than limit himself in any way, it reminded me to follow that advice for myself.”
The mentorship made Kevin re-consider his future plans. “She helped give me a better idea of where I wanted to go,” Kevin explains. “After I get done with my master’s, I’m going to start working on my doctorate. She kind of helped put me in the path of picking a school in the east coast.”
An Experience for all
The mentor program benefits students, but it also benefits the mentors as well. For Leah’s mentor, Michael, the opportunity gave him a chance to pay it forward.
“For me, I enjoyed the opportunity to share my experiences and talk about what went right and what I would do differently if given the opportunity,” Michael says. “By participating in the mentoring program, I have an opportunity to give back to my community and in particular, my alma mater.”
For others, the mentor program gives them a chance to hear from a college student’s perspective.
Matt’s mentor, Marc, explains, “I benefitted from Matt in seeing a younger person’s perspective of the business world. He brought a fresh thought process to it and gave me some good ideas on things I can do to better myself as a business person.”
Overall, both students and mentors found that the program offered them a unique experience, important advice, and possibly a new friend.
“I would encourage anyone who has ever thought about being a mentor to jump at the chance, if asked,” Michael says. “It is very rewarding and time well spent.”
The MBA program is accepting applications for the next group of Mentors. If you are interested in participating in this program you can fill out the online Mentor Program Information Form or contact Angie Davis for more information.
Interview and article by Kaitlyn Schwers. Kaitlyn is a sophomore majoring in communication.