We all need a little guidance and mentorship now and then. Luckily for Fisher students there are numerous opportunities to find a shoulder to lean on.
At Fisher, mentoring comes in many forms — from connecting with professionals through student organizations to formal offerings such as the Alumni Undergraduate Mentor, Peer Mentor, or any of the other industry-specific programs offered at the college. Making these connections is integral to helping students put their best foot forward.
Take Adrian Hamilton (BSBA ’17).
As a Business Buckeye, Hamilton’s mentoring focus was on becoming the person he wanted to be: reliable, trustworthy and hard working. To help develop these skills and see how they were utilized professionally, he joined the Fisher Real Estate Society (FRES) and created a connection with Stephen Stuckwisch, senior lecturer in finance. Stuckwisch served as Hamilton’s mentor and guide as he expanded his understanding of the real estate industry.
“Stephen helped me get beyond academic knowledge to seeing what I could accomplish when I put all the puzzle pieces together. He helped me believe in myself and my abilities,” said Hamilton. “He taught me to always continue to learn on the job. When learning stops, he said, it’s time to jump ship and look for a new opportunity.”
Now Hamilton is manager of revenue management at White Oak Partners, a multi-family real estate investment firm in Westerville, Ohio. And he’s paying forward the benefits he once received — as a FRES mentor to Omer Sarig, a third-year finance student, and alumnus Michael Ross (BSBA ’21).
Becoming a mentor
For Sarig, involvement in FRES solidified his career interest in real estate. Through his interactions with industry experts, he is learning how to communicate and work with property managers, engineers and tenants and how to effectively lead a team.
Both Sarig and Ross wanted a personal connection with someone who would challenge and help them gain insight into the working world. They found it in Hamilton.
“Adrian is very engaged as a mentor,” said Sarig. “He has given me professional connections and an inside view of real estate by arranging a visit to White Oak to learn about capital markets, risk management and the real estate market.”
For Ross, Adrian’s mentorship kept alive his curiosity about the real estate industry.
“I knew I wanted to work in real estate investing,” said Ross, a consultant with University Properties, a rental property management company in Toledo, Ohio. “Adrian was realistic, saying investing is hard, but he was very encouraging, motivating and kept me accountable on setting and accomplishing my goals.”
“He helped me identify my north star and build a career plan.”
As Ross’ mentor, Hamilton showed him life is not just black and white, right or wrong. He allowed Ross to be true to himself, share his weaknesses, admit what he didn’t know and remain curious.
“I enjoy working with students. They are what employers are looking for – future leaders with new ideas and talent,” said Hamilton. “It’s cool to see them before they know who they truly are and to see how they change. If someone can show you the potholes to avoid, they don’t have to endure the same patches.”
Remembering the nervousness and pressure he felt before starting his first post-graduate job, Hamilton remembers the feedback he received from Stuckwisch, his mentor at Fisher. He told Hamilton that graduation provided a chance to start over, to learn new ways of thinking and seeing things. He encouraged Hamilton to remain calm and believe in himself —advice that Hamilton shares with his mentees today.
“Being a mentor is a selfless thing,” said Hamilton. “Like a sculptor, you get to focus on the individual, chisel out the flaws and help them become the best they can be. “I try to help mentees understand why they want to do what they want to do. I help them become reflective.”
The best advice Hamilton gives his mentees? To be trustworthy and dependable, explore who they want to be, not compare themselves to others, learn how to manage themselves and consistently stay focused on their goals.
Giving to the community
The respect, guidance, trust, wisdom and encouragement Sarig, Ross and Hamilton received from their mentors inspired them to give back to others in their own ways. Each one is forging positive relationships, building talent and helping future leaders find their own path.
Sarig gives back as a Fisher Peer Mentor, a program that matches first-year students with an upper-level Fisher volunteer mentor. He teaches younger classmates about time management, communicating with professors, becoming well-rounded students, discovering what they value most and making time for themselves. He’s also finding his own path with the help of a student mentor in the Integrated Business and Engineering Honors Program.
Ross, meanwhile, continues to engage in mentoring opportunities as a mentee and as someone who provides advice to college students in cities such as New York.
And Hamilton? Sharing his experiences is a part of every aspect of his life — he continues to mentor high school students, siblings of friends and anyone needing guidance.
“Being a part of Buckeye Nation is bigger than you,” said Hamilton. “As a mentor, you get to see things come full circle. You realize each generation is smarter than the last. By giving your knowledge back, you are paving the way for those who follow you.”