For Jacqueline Tovar ’00, the mentor/mentee relationship spans more than two decades and started her junior year at Bryant when she was introduced to Vicente “Vin” Pina ’88 through an alumni mentorship program over winter break. Tovar, majoring in Management and Marketing and minoring in Statistics, impressed Pina with her focus and determination.
Knowing that I could reach out to Vin over the years has helped me remain close to Bryant.
They stayed in touch after Tovar landed her first job in Manhattan at the World Trade Center. Pina remembers that “on September 11, 2001, amidst all that happened, I thought of Jacqueline. Eventually I was able to reach her to make sure she was all right.” Over the following years they kept in touch, with updates on career and family and their MBA studies. The advent of LinkedIn made connecting easier.
“Knowing that I could reach out to Vin over the years has helped me remain close to Bryant. Today, not only do I have a job that meets all my career goals, I’m also working to connect Bryant students to opportunities in my current field of data analytics through my association with the national non-profit ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America),” Tovar says.
“Even though it’s been two decades since we last met in person, I can tell she has the same focus and determination to succeed,” Pina adds.
Not all alumni/student outreach needs to last a lifetime. An hour or so of career advice can make a big difference to a student seeking to explore a new venture.
Entrepreneurship major Taylor Vahey ’23 reached out to Rita Williams-Bogar ’76 for some insight to compare entrepreneurship to a traditional corporate path. Williams-Bogar was happy to share her personal experience and provide Vahey with some solid advice. “I left a top corporate position in 2003 to launch my own leadership development consulting business, and frankly, I’ve never looked back,” she says.
Sharing experience is a perfect way to connect with today’s students, and Vahey agrees. “I appreciated having Rita’s support and validation for my career interests,” she says.
Alumnifire is a private platform for alumni, current parents, and students to offer career advice, share internships and job openings, and build professional networks. Since it’s specific to Bryant, alumni have already agreed to offer advice, and there are no fees to use it or to send messages. Students and alumni can search using Bryant-specific keywords, like 4Mile, or by major or industry. Sign up at bryant.alumnifire.com.