Models of Mentorship

April 16, 2019

By Audrey St. Clair ’03

Rollins Students visit Charles Schwab offices.

The new Day With a Champ program adds to Rollins’ growing portfolio of programs aimed at developing powerful partnerships between alumni and students.

At the end of February, seven Rollins students shadowed Eric Fraser ’08, managing director of Charles Schwab, at the financial services firm’s downtown Orlando office. The event was the pilot of the Center for Career & Life Planning’s new Day With a Champ program, the latest addition to the College’s suite of alumni-student mentorship initiatives.

During the day-long program, students received an overview of Schwab and then shadowed Fraser to learn more about the company’s client services and operations. The day also included an alumni panel with Clinton Gibbs ’08 ’11MHR, relationship specialist; Stephanie Camarato ’18, relationship specialist; and Jonathan Gordon ’14, senior relationship specialist, followed by two 30-minute shadowing rounds with individual employees. The alumni encouraged the students to explore opportunities in various fields—even those not aligned with their majors or experiences—and stressed the importance of being willing to learn on the job.

The pilot proved to be an all-around success. In a feedback survey, 100 percent of student participants said they were very satisfied with the experience and 100 percent of student participants said they would recommend the shadowing experience to a peer.

Rollins students attend a presentation at the Charles Schwab offices.Rollins students attend a presentation at the Charles Schwab offices.
From left: Clinton Gibbs ’08 ’11MHR, Stephanie Camarato ’18, and Jonathan Gordon ’14

“I learned that working in a firm like Schwab is as much about building relationships and learning from the experience of other people as it is learning about the financial world,” says economics major Ansh Jain ’19, whose career goals include building competencies in business analytics.

A recent Gallup study indicates that the odds of thriving in all areas of well-being are nearly twice as high among students who have mentors. Throughout the past year, the Center for Career & Life Planning (CCLP) has focused many of its resources on developing these invaluable alumni-student relationships, starting with the flagship program, Career Champions.

This highly successful initiative has grown from 35 pairs in its first year to 48 in its second and has established connections from Manhattan to Madagascar all anchored by shared experiences at Rollins. CCLP also administers Chat with a Champ, an alumni networking event series that focuses on everything from pre-law to experiential learning, and will unveil a Champion in Residence program in the renovated Mills center next fall.

Isaac James speaks with his mentor Mo Coffey outside on the Rollins campus.Isaac James speaks with his mentor Mo Coffey outside on the Rollins campus.
Isaac James ’19 was paired with Mo Coffey ’08 through the Career Champions program and credits this relationship for much of his success at Rollins.Photo by Scott Cook.

To learn more about Rollins’ diverse and ever-growing student-alumni mentorship programs, visit the Center for Career & Life Planning.

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