Introduction to the Lerner Executive Mentoring Program


In this video, you’ll learn more about the value of the Lerner Executive Mentoring Program to students and mentors.


Jill Gugino Pante, director, Lerner Career Services Center:
The Lerner Executive Mentoring Program provides such a vast amount of opportunity for students to connect with alumni, connect with community members. It’s a vital part of the Blue Hen Experience because there’s yet another person in your corner, cheering you on, opening doors.

Tausif Zunaid, class of 2020:
When I was recruiting for internships last year, one thing I quickly realized – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Lexi Gilbert, class of 2020:
There’s immense value in being paired one on one with a professional who has a lifetime-worth of advice and knowledge that they’re willing to share with a student. Mary Ellen has had years of experience in marketing and that’s where I intend to go with my career, so I really welcomed all advice that she had to share with me.

Mary Ellen Payne, mentor, retired senior VP, Verizon Communications:
She’s fearless. And she’s very smart. She’s very driven. She really knows what she wants in life and it’s really fun to work with someone who’s as goal-oriented as she is.

Jill Gugino Pante:
What we have found through our annual survey is that 98% of our students, because of this program, feel much more prepared to enter the workforce – which to me, is a huge win.

Tausif Zunaid:
Tom, being my mentor, has been fantastic. He’s been helping me go through interview prep and the job market. Whenever I’ve come up with a tactic for an interview or what I want to do, Tom was open and honest with me and was like, “Hey, you shouldn’t do that,” or “Hey, should do that.” So I feel like having a mentor – it’s very open and honest communication.

Lexi Gilbert:
One time we talked through whether we thought an internship was right for me. Also, I would seek networking advice or even look for input on how to effectively frame my past experience on my resume. So I really value all advice that Mary Ellen has to share.

Mary Ellen Payne:
I think there’s lots of great opportunities here at the University that you can give back to. And I chose mentoring because it’s something you can actually see the results of immediately. And so my philanthropy is directed that way because I want to see that program grow.

Jill Gugino Pante:
In the past three years the program went from about 40 pairings to now, where we’re at is about 500 pairings. If we had more engagement, more philanthropic support – I would love to be able to provide a mentor for every single Lerner student. Being a part of this program – whether being a mentor or providing funding for it – really makes you part of a community that is going to help prepare these future business leaders.

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