The College of Business has launched a new mentoring program as part of an academic class offered by the Department of Management. The inaugural mentorship class, taught by Richard Sibbernsen, a retired senior vice president of human resources for AT&T, featured 13 juniors and seniors.
The class, which consisted of a blend of lectures, peer learning and problem solving, met over the course of five Saturdays. Students were introduced to their mentors during the first class session then were required to meet with their mentors weekly for the duration of the three-month class. The class concluded with a final visit with the mentors.
“UTSA provides a good toolkit of management skills for our students,” said Sibbernsen. “But, this class puts those skills to practice for our students. Mentoring relationships offer great learning situations to deepen and broaden understanding from senior leaders.”
Six theories were discussed as part of the class: the role of management, performance management, the work of leadership, change and collaboration, teaming and forward career planning. Each mentor conversation was centered on one of those theories.
“This program was intellectually stimulating for me as a mentor,” said Jeff Farver, retired CEO at San Antonio Federal Credit Union. “Your role as a mentor is to take material taught in academic principles and relate to the practical side of business. I truly believe this is a very valuable program.”
“The class exceeded my expectations,” said Alexandria Hodges, a senior majoring in human resources and the instigator for creating the class. “I was looking for a real-life exchange of the theories and problems that we discuss in class. I received that working with my mentor.”
Mentors who volunteered this fall were Caren Albarian, consultant; Cody Benavides, Rackspace; Joe Bray, BBVA Compass; Bethany Eggleston, Harte-Hanks; Jeff Farver, retired SACU; Kevin Healy, Aerotek; Grant Herbon, Rackspace; Mark Holkey, Boeing; Bruce Howard, Fisher, Kemble & Herbst; Pat Sculley, retired military; Alan Utley, StandardAero; and Jonathan Villarreal, SACU.
Based on the success of this first class, the college plans to offer the course next spring as well. If you are interested in serving as a mentor, please contact Karen Rayzor in the college’s Center for Student Professional Development at (210) 458-4039.
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