On Thursday, December 1, students from Professor Mary Sakin’s Developing Management Skills class hosted their very first Mentor Luncheon.
At the beginning of the semester, students in Professor Sakin’s class were asked to pick a mentor who was in their field of study and begin an online/email relationship. Throughout the course of the semester, updates were given to Professor Sakin, to ensure that the relationship was not just a one-time thing.
The mentors included alumni of Seton Hall University, LinkedIn connections of Professor Sakin’s and connections of the students. The industries that these mentors represented included Higher Education, Management, Marketing, Information Technology and Law, just to name a few.
Halfway into the semester, the class realized that many of their mentors wanted to meet with the students personally. The class decided as a whole that it would host a Mentor Luncheon in appreciation for all of the mentors’ effort.
This student-run event involved the commitment and efforts of committee co-chairs Nicollette Romeo, Joseph Sica, Kaila Viscel and Amanda Genabith, who began planning the event. Personalized invitation cards were made and sent to all of the mentors.
As the responses began to come in, the committee learned that this was the first event of its kind at Seton Hall University and the largest event Professor Sakin has ever seen. With a class of 28 students, 12 mentors were able to attend the Mentor Luncheon.
The luncheon commenced with a welcome speech from two of the committee’s co-chairs, Acting Dean Joyce Strawser and Nicholas Sena, Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement.
Following the welcome speech was a lunch buffet which gave the students and mentors a chance to talk and mingle with one another. Later, each mentor was asked to share one piece of advice that he or she would have liked to have known when he or she was in college.
One mentor, Bradley Peterson, said, “Networking is so important. You could say hello to someone at the water fountain and that person could be your next boss.” Carl Pflanzer, another mentor also told the group about the importance of networking. “There are so many resources in college that we did not have,” said Pflanzer. “Patience, persistence and willingness to put yourself out there” was the advice given from Christine Riso.
Each mentor was presented with a certificate and a picture frame, which was donated by the Office of Alumni Relations.
When asked afterwards, Professor Sakin said she was amazed at all of the responses she received initially. “I even had to turn some people away because there were not enough students,” she added. With regards to the luncheon, Professor Sakin said it exceeded her expectations. “All of these mentors took time out of their busy schedules to be here today with us. Everyone should be very proud. It was a great success.”
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