VOLUME 18 #3

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Students learn from business executives

Photo by Ambre Alexander
Mentor Rita Hollingsworth, a UD alumna and managing director of Strategic Solutions International, meets with sport management student Austin Tatum.


ON THE GREEN | As fall semester got under way, students in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics quickly began taking advantage of discovery-based learning opportunities offered through the Executive Mentors Scholars (EMS) Program.

The program, an educational resource offered by the college, establishes mentor-student relationships by matching executives and their professional backgrounds with students and their career objectives.

Students enrolled in the Lerner College apply during the spring semester of their sophomore year, begin their mentorships as juniors in the fall semester and conclude the experience at the end of their senior year.

At a fall kickoff reception on campus, Bobby Gempesaw, dean of the college, welcomed this year’s group of students.

“As active students in the EMS program, you have the chance to obtain an insider’s view of a company and the industry in which it operates,” he said. “Take this opportunity to learn valuable networking skills and sharpen your skills as you prepare for a successful career.”

Gempesaw also welcomed the executive mentors and commended them for donating their time and expertise to the program.

“Mentoring is a means of developing business leaders and the future workforce,” he said. “By participating in the EMS program, you are being of great service to the Lerner College and add unique value to the education of our students.”


Senior accounting student Ashley Burgio acknowledges the many benefits of getting involved in the program.

“The EMS program offers incredible opportunities for students who truly care about investing in their futures and improving themselves professionally,” she says. “This past year in the program has proved invaluable in both my personal development and professional development. Having a mentor I can contact to ask advice and to bounce ideas off has really made a positive impact on my career path, directly affecting my confidence and comfort when speaking with professionals.”

Heath Kahrs, partner at Santora CPA group and executive mentor for Burgio, says he has also found it beneficial to participate in the program.

“I personally believe that the EMS program is an excellent idea,” he says. “Mentors provide an outlet for junior and senior students to seek advice on a range of topics including interviewing, career and job selection, prospective employer expectations (the do’s and don’ts), CPA exam and personal and career goals.

“In addition, the mentor-mentee relationship allows the students to improve upon certain key soft skills such as communication skills. Overall, I think that the relationship is a rewarding one that allows the student at the very least to have an edge over other individuals who do not have the opportunity or choose not participate in the program.”

David Brond, vice president for communications and marketing at UD and mentor for senior marketing major Ashley Toala, agrees.

“I have found that the EMS program benefits not only the student but also the mentor,” Brond says. “It provides an opportunity to connect with an intelligent, engaged student who provides a fresh and insightful perspective.”

Jill Panté, assistant director in the Lerner College, encourages all students in the college to make use of the program. “We are growing the program each year, and I trust students will take advantage of it,” she says.

Article by Kathryn Ann Marrone , AS ’04, BE ’06M

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