The Spring 2019 IBIT pilot matched students with top executives. One of the great advantages Temple students have long enjoyed is the opportunity to work directly with top industry executives under the IBIT mentorship program. In the 2018-2019 academic year, the mentorship model shifted a bit from project-based pairings to one-on-one assignments designed to give students even more access to guidance, perspective and feedback from seasoned senior executives.
“Our mission with IBIT is to integrate professional perspectives with academic expertise to create best practice forums and facilitate excellence in IT,” says Sondra Barbour, IT Advisory Board member. “This newly designed mentoring program directly supports that mission. By pairing students with industry experts, we’re providing the opportunity to increase knowledge and connections between students, industry and faculty.”
Mentors have traditionally been members of either the IT Advisory Board or executives of IBIT member firms, and this year was no different: The roster of leaders included George Llado, CIO of Alexion; Chris Cera, the CEO of Arcweb; and Dinesh Desai, the Chairman and CEO of Emtec, Inc.
The pilot program’s three mentees, nominated by faculty and chosen by the Institute, were all MIS majors. Rising senior Michelle Purnama and rising juniors Sophia Spadotto and David Shin were assigned to their mentor based on background and mentor expertise.
“It was a special and unique opportunity,” Purnama says. She was paired with Alexion’s Llado, which she says was ideal given her upcoming internship with the company. Not only did her conversations with Llado and tour of the Alexion office help her prepare for the internship, she says, she found the CIO accessible and easy to talk to. “That made it comfortable for me to ask him questions and ask for advice.”
The mentors, too, enjoyed the experience. “The mentorship program has been a great way to build relationships with young professionals while simultaneously helping them create new building blocks for their careers,” Arcweb’s Cera says. “I plan to continue being a part of the mentorship program moving forward.”
In fact, not only will the new model of IBIT mentorship continue on through upcoming semesters, but the next goal for the program is expanding to include a dozen mentors with anywhere from one to three students each.