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Dean’s Update, January 24, 2012

SCPD Mentor Event Update

In anticipation of the start of spring semester, the Student Center for Professional Development held its first ever Corporate Mentoring Program Spring Mixer on January 18 at The Grand. Led by SCPD director Howard Fletcher and program coordinator Eve Espindola, the event was attended by more than half of our mentors and mentees, Dean Solt, Ted Teweles and other SCPD advisory board members, and special guest Louise Ukleja. We were gratified by the number of students who interrupted their winter break to attend the event, some driving from as far away as Riverside and Dana Point.

The first part of the evening consisted of two panel discussions, one each for mentors and mentees, aimed at finding ways to improve the mentoring experience. Many great ideas came out of these panel discussions, some of which are already being implemented by SCPD staff. The panel discussions were then followed by a period of mentor/mentee networking over appetizers.

A highlight of the evening was an informative presentation by guest speaker Chip Espinoza. Chip is a Ph.D.C. in Leadership and Change and a leading expert on the subject of generational diversity in the workplace. He has co-authored a book, Managing the Millennials, and his presentation provided information that can help managers create a work environment that accommodates the unique characteristics of the millennial generation while meeting the needs of the organization.

Holding a mixer prior to the start of the semester is something we have not previously done. That it was so well attended speaks to the students’ perception of the value of the mentoring program. We think most attendees took something away from the evening they can use to better manage the generational diversity in their work and personal relationships. And judging from the comments received in follow-up communications, those who attended the event felt energized by their experience. SCPD is off to a good spring semester.