First-year MBA students have been looking forward to the MBA Mentor Kickoff event since the beginning of the semester. Students were eager to be paired with business professionals with real-life experience. The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics prides itself on networking events where students can connect with and learn from working professionals. But the MBA Mentor program takes it a step further. Graduate students worked with the Argyros School Career Services staff to establish industry and career goals during our first semester. Those goals were evaluated and each student was matched with a mentor fitting their scope of interest.
After a lot of hard work and anticipation, the 2019 MBA Mentor Kickoff took place on November 7th. MBA students and mentors arrived at Italian restaurant Il Fornaio in Irvine and were directed to the private patio. Guests were welcomed with a name tag and the smell of fresh-baked pizza. There was an exciting buzz in the air as mentees and mentors moved through the space, introducing themselves and engaging in conversation. Stacey Moynahan, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Career Services, welcomed everyone and each mentor took a turn introducing themselves to the room. Mentors and mentees then paired up and spent the rest of the evening getting to know one another.
As a first-year MBA student myself, I had high hopes for the Mentor Kickoff, and I was not disappointed. Having a working professional to look to for guidance was an exciting bonus to Chapman’s MBA program. I was worried that coming from a biological science background and field might put me at a disadvantage. I would like to re-enter the biotechnology industry and was concerned that finding a fitting mentor for my goals would be difficult. This was not the case, as the fantastic Career Services staff matched me with Scott Johnson. Scott is a Senior Advisor at OCTANe, specifically working with their LaunchPad Small Business Development Center focusing on helping medical device startups in Orange County. Having a mentor to provide network leads and advice is an invaluable resource. As this semester nears its end, I am excited for what the next chapter at Chapman will bring my way.
The list of mentors made available to the MBA students is impressive and really shows off the Argyros School’s network with the Orange County business community. For example, here are some of the mentors and what they do:
- Courtney Achay, Vice President, Channel Marketing Manager, PIMCO
- Amy Bailey, Vice President, Marketing, Telarus
- Adam Cohen, Senior Vice President & Senior Relationship Manager, Union Bank
- Brian Goodman, Chief Operating Officer, R.A. Industries
- Joe Hernandez, Senior Vice President & Senior Relationship Manager, City National Bank
- Andrew Parnes, Chief Financial Officer, Shea Homes
- Dan Reilly, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, B2X Global
- Drew Richardson, Lifecycle Planning Manager, Disney+
- Rachel Svoboda, Chief Executive Officer, Sunday Brunch Agency
- Sunny Tan, Head of HR, Johnson & Johnson
- Susan Zechter, Director of Data Ops and Investor, ListReports
[Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in participating as a mentor in coming years, please reach out to Sudeshna Majumdar-Fragomeni, Associate Director of Argyros School Career Services and Employer Relations via email. The mentors listed above are only a small sample of the many dedicated mentors that choose to give their time in further developing the next generation of business leaders.]