This is what a mentorship program gives students

Nathan Glass heard about a mentorship program within the NDSU College of Business from a friend. He applied and gained a lifelong connection with an area professional.

The Business Connections program pairs College of Business students with professionals for a semester to learn about careers, industries and day-to-day job responsibilities. It’s the kind of program that helps NDSU students successfully compete in the workforce.

Glass was paired with Ashton Hansen, senior associate at Allegro Group in Fargo. Hansen graduated from NDSU in 2010 with a degree in business administration and Spanish. Glass worked out a schedule with Hansen to meet up every three weeks or so.

“I think my connection with Ashton will last throughout my professional career,” said Glass, an accounting major from Mandan, North Dakota. “This program prepared me so much and has instilled confidence in me to grow further. I obtained an internship because of the things Ashton and I worked and talked through. I’m more than grateful to her for taking the time out of her busy schedule.”

Business Connections started four years ago with 30 participants. It has grown to more than 150 participants.

“Students are drawn to the program to meet business professionals in their related field, to enhance their networking and to discover the opportunities available to graduates from the College of Business,” said Nancy Emerson, lecturer in accounting who helped start the program. “Not only do the mentors give of their time to the students, they receive the benefit of relating now with the next generation of professionals who will be entering their industries in the next two to four years.”

Glass keeps in contact with his mentor and is preparing for an audit internship at Eide Bailly this semester.

“The amount of effort you put into this program is exactly how much you will get out of it,” said Glass. “This experience could potentially be a lifelong connection. I know it gave me direction, and I hope it does to other students.”

Fast facts:

  • 87 students and 66 mentors are paired this semester
  • 21 mentors agreed to mentor two students each
  • 30 organizations participate as mentors
  • 23 different business careers are represented

Business Connections is piloting a long-distance mentoring component this spring with six mentors located in the Minneapolis area.


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