Fisher program fosters legacy of mentoring
Fisher program fosters legacy of mentoring
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Whether it's during college or throughout a professional career, the importance of mentors can't be overstated. As Fisher students make the journey from scholars to business leaders, there's a need for the guidance of those with proven experience and post-graduate insights.
Since 2009, Fisher's Alumni Undergraduate Mentor Program has addressed this need. For two Fisher alumni and a current student, the program began making an impact on their lives five years ago and, today, the three remain inextricably linked.
EDWIN JONES AND ROSE PANSICK
The thread began during the 2012-2013 academic year with Edwin Jones (BSBA ’08, MBA ’15). As the oldest son of a single mother, Edwin was accustomed to serving as a role model to younger siblings for as long as he can remember. Since 2012, he has participated in and advocated on behalf of the Undergraduate Mentor program at Fisher.
At its inception, the Alumni Undergraduate Mentor Program began with 17 mentors and 32 students. Each year, the program has grown as more students discover the value of having a mentor, and as Fisher alumni embrace the Buckeye sprit of paying forward and volunteering their time with students. Currently, there are 64 pairs of mentors and mentees.
More than 40 mentors are located in the central Ohio area, while the others utilize technology — email, phone and Skype — to counsel their mentees. The pairs meet at least once a month, while some connect as frequently as once per week.
Edwin's motivation to pay forward as an alumnus and a mentor comes from being informally mentored himself as a Fisher undergraduate student. In particular, he credits Lorraine Pennyman, assistant director of the Undergraduate Leadership & Engagement Office at Fisher; and David Harrison, senior director of Fisher’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Services and Corporate and Community Outreach, for their roles in mentoring him. Today, Edwin finds that the most rewarding aspect of being a mentor is seeing a perspective he’s shared resonate with a mentee.
“I've had quite a few people help shape my ideas and perspectives along my journey,” said Edwin, a client representative at IBM, serving Whirlpool Corp., Honeywell International, Inc., and General Electric. “I would be doing them a disservice by not sharing that experience with someone else.”
For Edwin, that someone else was Rose Pansick (BSBA’15).
“She has always been a very intelligent and outgoing person who was always looking to learn from my experiences and perspectives,” he said. “Rose is having a lot of professional success and is willing to share what she’s learned with someone else. I couldn't be happier for her.”
ROSE PANSICK AND KAY BUTREY
Rose graduated from Fisher with a degree in finance and began a career at Cardinal Health as a senior analyst, financial planning and analysis. After graduation, she sought out additional opportunities to continue learning from more experienced colleagues. She credits those influential figures — including Edwin — for providing vital academic and professional direction.
Those lessons have helped shape her mentorship experience with Kay Butrey, a second-year student studying operations at Fisher. Currently in her first year of mentoring, Rose strives to emulate the qualities of openness and honesty that she and Edwin cultivated.
“Throughout high school, college and now professionally, I have been fortunate to have many positive role models,” Rose said. “I realized a long time ago that the best way to give back to each of these people was to try to make a positive impact on someone else, paying forward the time they spent with me.”
For Kay, having Rose as her mentor has provided beneficial insight into résumé writing and interview preparation, as well as helping her make the most out of the numerous resources available to her as a Fisher student.
Because of the advice she has received from Rose, Kay encourages other Fisher students to participate in the mentor program. She’s also been pleasantly surprised by how much she and Rose have in common and how they’ve grappled with many of the same decisions during their studies at Fisher.
Like Edwin and Rose before her, Kay hopes to continue the tradition of mentoring to future students.
“I’d love to give back to the program and be a mentor one day,” she said. “It’s a really great way to affirm the qualities of what it means to be a student and an alumnus of Fisher.”
If you are a Fisher alum or a local business professional who would like to get involved with the Alumni Undergraduate Mentor Program, please contact Program Manager Jena Pugh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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