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K-State Today

September 20, 2011



Learning from the best: College of Business Administration debuts executive mentor program

By Communications and Marketing

Alumni and friends of the College of Business Administration at Kansas State University are helping prepare students to become successful business professionals. More than 70 business executives have already committed their time to become mentors in the K-State Business Executive Mentor Program.

The program is an initiative of the college that aims to give students the skills to successfully navigate the business world even before they graduate. Skills like communication, networking and attitude often take years to learn, but with an executive mentor students can learn them and build their own professional network while they are in college. Executive mentors have more than 10 years of experience in the industry and a track record of success, making them ideal role models for students.

"Executive mentors will help our students with planning their careers long in advance of graduation. These executives will reinforce the importance of hard work, good communication skills, internships and international experiences for students' long-term success," said Ali Malekzadeh, dean of the College of Business Administration. "The executive mentors are willing to give their time generously to make sure our students are well-prepared for a competitive job market."

The program has started with more than 70 committed business executives who are looking forward to working with the students of the College of Business Administration. Malekzadeh's goal is to have one executive mentor per student enrolled in the college, or more than 1,500, so that all students have the opportunity to learn from these highly successful individuals.

Students will be paired with executive mentors for the duration of their time at the College of Business Administration, allowing the mentee-executive mentor professional relationship to flourish, and giving them time to explore the students' changing needs; from major choice and course selection in the first year, to networking and full-time employment as their graduation approaches.

"Executive mentors will be very involved with our students, and they will participate in their success, helping us increase student retention, a key part of K-State's vision 2025, as well as giving our students an enhanced college experience," Malekzadeh said.

The program is being coordinated by Emily Brueseke, currently an academic adviser in the college. The first matches will be announced Oct. 7, coinciding with the Dean's Advisory Council meeting. For more information visit http://www.cba.k-state.edu/ExecutiveMentorProgram or contact Brueseke at 785-532-6180 or ebruese@k-state.edu.