The School of Business & Leadership Rolls out Executive Mentor Program
To help better prepare its students for successful careers, Regent University’s School of Business & Leadership (SBL) recently launched an Executive Mentor Program. The goal is to integrate academic learning with real-world experience by matching graduate students with seasoned business executives.
Mentors are paired with students (mentees) based on academic and career fields, common interests, availability, and other information shared in application profiles. They partner over a six-month period during which the mentor and mentee are encouraged to meet monthly in-person or remotely.
“It’s a very flexible model that depends on the needs of the mentee and what the mentor really decides is best for that individual,” says SBL dean, Dr. Doris Gomez. “We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response, especially from executive mentors.”
Carol McCormack, the recently retired CEO of United Way of South Hampton Roads, is one of the approximately 130 mentors who have volunteered to participate. She believes that investing in the lives of those who come after you is necessary to foster a vibrant, healthy society.
“Mentoring opportunities are plentiful,” McCormack points out. “But the fact that Regent attracts and promotes students that recognize their part in the greater good causes me to want to equip their students for success. Sharing a lifetime of experience can give a student a head start on success in both their career and life, and it is a responsibility I think we all share.”
Examples of other high-profile mentors who have agreed to participate in the SBL program include:
David L. Bernd, who served as Chief Executive Officer of Sentara Healthcare for more than 20 years.
Bill Quinn, a former vice president for Johnson & Johnson.
Anne Beiler, author, speaker, board member of the Museum of the Bible and founder of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.
Former U.S. Congressman Scott Rigell, a successful business owner, entrepreneur and Regent SBL alum (‘90).
Stephen E. Levy, current president of Wincorp International, Inc. and Regent SBL alum (‘11).
These extremely successful men and women are making a commitment to invest in the lives of Regent students and to help equip them as Christian leaders to change the world. Mentors provide students with valuable advice, serve as a sounding board, share significant experiences, and provide constructive feedback.
“While our faculty can provide a lot of the content knowledge and also provide mentorship to a degree,” Gomez says, “it is those executive mentors, with years of experience in different industries and areas of expertise, who can really pour into students and bring them to the next level.”
SBL also wants the initiative to provide opportunities for students to learn and practice communication and critical-thinking skills, while also equipping them with the understanding and tools to make ethical and informed decisions.
“The Executive Mentorship Program will provide our students with a very important level of support as they develop into business leaders and mature in their various professions,” Gomez insists. “My hope and my expectations are that we create a tremendous resource for our students and an outstanding network of seasoned executives who can really speak into the lives and the professional development of our students.”