Speed mentorship and networking event pairs students with alumni partners

The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) Development Team, in partnership with the School of Administrative Studies and the New College Alumni Network, hosted a speed mentorship and networking event on March 5.

Forty York University alumni and nearly 250 students took part in the event, which was held at the Second Student Centre on the Keele Campus. Guest alumni mentors brought a breadth of experience and knowledge in the areas of accounting, disaster and emergency management, finance, human resources, marketing, management and much more.

The School of Administrative Studies Speed Networking and Mentorship event was hosted by the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Development team, in partnership with the School of Administrative Studies and the New College Alumni Network (NCAN). From left: Tom McLagan, director of development, LA&PS; Jen Beltran, co-president, NCAN; Kevin Cao, NCAN; Daniel Audisho, co-president, NCAN; Peter Avery, associate dean, students, LA&PS; Adriano Solis, director, School of Administrative Studies; and Sonia Sheechoria, vp operations, NCAN

The students received on-site coaching on networking etiquette from Sean Mullin, post-secondary recruiter with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, the event’s lead sponsor. Students participated in three speed mentorship rounds where they were matched with alumni mentors. During the open networking session, students were free to ask additional questions.

“Students in our Commerce and Disaster & Emergency Management programs truly benefited from the experiential learning made possible by the enthusiastic participation of our alumni in this ‘speed mentoring’ event,” said Professor Adriano Solis, director of the School of Administrative Studies. “The alumni mentors exposed the students to various career pathways and shared insights on how to build professional networks. We are grateful to these alumni for coming to campus and thereby privileging our students who attended the event.”

Sean Mullin with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, lead sponsor, launched the evening’s program by offering students networking advice

This new initiative is one of the ways the Faculty offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their field during their studies. Sarah Yousif, a second-year BCom student specializing in accounting, was able to meet mentor Ayesha Shah, senior director, Total Rewards, Inclusion & Organizational Effectiveness, at Compass Group Canada. Yousif said it was an “inspiring event which helped [her] gain insight into the world of networking, personal connections and involvement,” while Shah said it was “an energizing experience, connecting with bright and brilliant students.”

Experiential education opportunities such as these provide students with exposure to possible career pathways. “I really enjoyed the networking event. This was my first professional networking event and it was a worthwhile experience,” said Angelaa Kirubaharan, a fourth-year BCom student. “I got to connect with many professionals who provided a lot of advice on how to start my career…. If there was another one, I would definitely sign up.”

Guest alumni mentor Marlon Reid, director – Business Effectiveness, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management at CIBC, shares his experience and advice with students

In addition, these events also benefit alumni, who are given an opportunity to reflect on their own career journeys. “It’s always a pleasure to help the next generation of future leaders find their paths,” said Waqas Baggia, a guest mentor and technical recruitment consultant.

The event was made possible due to the efforts by alumni volunteers, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (lead sponsor), the CFA Society Toronto (partnership sponsor), and CIBC, IBM, LA&PS and the New College Alumni Network (patron sponsors).