The Rawls College of Business not only promotes active learning for students in the classroom, but also emphasizes the importance that students gain valuable experiences outside of the classroom. Having a mentor encourages students to proactively establish business relationships and provides an opportunity for them to gain firsthand experience in developing a professional relationship. Mentors also reinforce the value of professionalism, strong work ethic, effective time management and other business skills essential for success. For these reasons, the Rawls College established the Rawls Executive Mentor Program in the fall of 2016.
The program pairs Rawls students with business professionals to share knowledge and experiences. This valuable relationship gives students an opportunity to learn from successful professionals and receive guidance as they explore career opportunities and develop into young professionals.
In addition to pairing mentors and mentees, the program also provides many opportunities for students to connect with their mentors. Recently, students met with their mentors at the Inaugural Rawls Executive Mentor/Mentee Banquet on April 28, 2017 where Texas Tech Men's Football Coach, Kliff Kingsbury, served as the keynote speaker.
When the program was started, many students eagerly applied to have a mentor, knowing the impact that one can have on their professional development.
"I joined the Rawls Executive Mentorship program because I saw it as a fantastic opportunity to further my professional skills and professional network," said Jordan Burger, a mentee to Adam Lawis. "It's an opportunity to learn from someone who has achieved great success in their industry and career, and that's something I could not pass up."
This program not only benefits the students participating, but also gives these experienced professionals an opportunity to impact a student in an unforgettable way. In many cases, it affords alumni the opportunity to reconnect with their college.
"I enjoy teaching young people and demonstrating how I have achieved my success," said Bart Reagor, mentor to Zachary Richards. "I think it is very valuable to share successful habits with our young people."
In addition to helping students, this program enables alumni to have a direct role in the advancement of the college.
"I have seen the Rawls College make tremendous strides in the past decade and wanted to be involved in continuing to make the college one of the best in the country," said Adam Lawis, mentor to Jordan Burger, when asked why he decided to be a mentor.
The success of this program is exemplified by the strong relationships that students and mentors have formed.
"I joined REMP in July 2016 not knowing what to expect," said Marilu Rodriguez, mentee to Suzann Kirby. "Little did I know, I would have the privilege of meeting a strong leader, an amazing mentor and an empowering woman."
These valuable relationships are intended to continue as the students become successful professionals themselves.
"I can certainly see myself asking my mentor for advice well into the future and also keeping in touch whenever we have a chance," said Zachary Richards, mentee to Bart Reagor.
If you are interested in learning more about the program, please visit the Rawls Executive Mentor Program website.
To view all pictures from the Inaugural Rawls Executive Mentor/Mentee Banquet please visit the Rawls College of Business Flickr account.This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.