Whether you’re looking for a major, internship or first job, here’s the one step every Xavier student should take—finding a mentor. That’s exactly what Ryan Murphy, now a newly minted graduate with a business degree in Management, did in 2014.
So he was as surprised as anyone to find the answer to all three questions in one place —the Career Development Office, in the form of his mentor, Dan Link. After that, everything else fell into place
The Career Development Office brings together professionals and students to share career inspirations and professional development. In this case, the professional was Link, a 2008 Business Management grad who had participated in the Mentor Program when he was a student.
He read Ryan’s profile and liked what he saw. “I picked Ryan because he was undecided,” he says. “I wanted to show him that you don’t have to have it all figured out.”
Turns out, Link did a good job helping Ryan figure it out, including deciding on a major. At the time, Ryan needed a little help focusing on his own career. He’d originally chosen education but had shifted into neutral, going instead to undecided.
Link helped him to think about business as a possible major and career.
“I knew I liked working with people,” Ryan says. “I like the challenges that business faces and I like the classes.”
Once he switched his major to business, the next step was to find an internship. Link stepped up again.
“He gave me some really good insights into how to apply, where to look and opportunities that could happen after internships with good companies,” Ryan says.
One good company was Fifth Third Bank and its innovative Operations Leadership summer program. It was a good way for Ryan to “test drive” his new major as well as learn if life in a corporate environment would be a good fit for him. After all, internships have become an extension of the job interview.
Internships are also a great way for Xavier alums to give their newest Musketeer colleagues a hand up in their careers. It worked well for Ryan, who was hired into the same leadership program. Now Link and Ryan are working together at Fifth Third.
“I felt like Xavier created an environment, and I wanted to give back to the University the way the mentoring program had done for me,” Link says.
Feature Image: Dan Link, left, and his mentee, Ryan Murphy, with their awards for Mentor and Mentee of the Year.