My Experience in the SBA Mentor Program

By I-Ting Chen

The School of Business and Administration (SBA) Mentor Program is designed to help students increase their workplace savvy, gain clarity on their career interests, develop their networking skills, and successfully make the transition from college to the workplace through a mentor relationship with a business professional. As an international student in the MIM program, I really benefited from the SBA Mentor Program because my mentor helped me better understand my career goals and build connections with professionals in the US.

My mentor, Todd Ruberg, helped me edit my resume, gave me advice on choosing my specialization, taught me how to use LinkedIn, and helped me analyze my strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, he did his best to help me build connections with his employees, friends, and even business partners.

Todd is Vice President of Customer Business Development at P&G, which is the company that I have always wished to work for. He arranged a P&G company tour for me and introduced me to many important employees. He also arranged three one-on-one meetings for me to have a deep conversation with some managers and specialists experienced in the Asian market. These meetings were extremely helpful because the people I met with have the careers I want in the future.

When Todd found out that I applied for the internship at Nike, he tried to figure out which connections he had at the company for me. Then he introduced his friend, Kevin, who is a Global CRM manager to me. We arranged a meeting at Nike, and I now finally have the chance to get into the Nike campus and learn more about this company. Next month, Todd will also introduce me to one of his important business partners, Franz Lazarus, the Executive Vice President of Costco. I am looking forward to this meeting as well.

As an international student, I am so grateful that I can have this amazing mentor who is willing to help me build connections with his employees, friends, and business partners. Although he is very busy, Todd always makes time to meet me in Portland. If I have any questions, he is always available. I feel like he really wants to help me find a good job, and I feel so grateful for him and this mentor program.

At the end of the mentor program, the SBA holds a Mentor Appreciation Event in the lovely Simon Benson House, which is located on the PSU Campus. This is the time for refreshments after finals and networking as we thank our outstanding mentors! I brought a special gift that I bought in Shanghai for Todd. It is a Paper Cut Art of the 12 Chinese Animal Zodiac. He was so happy, and we took a nice picture with the gift. This Mentor Appreciation Event will be the end of our mentorship, but a start of our friendship.

06-06-14_GBP_Mentor (8)

For more information about the mentor program at PSU:

http://www.pdx.edu/sba/mentor-program

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