June 26, 2017 • By UCI Paul Merage School of Business
The Executive Mentoring Program at the Merage School pairs experienced mentors and Merage School Full-Time and FEMBA students together so students can learn the informal, subtle knowledge that cannot be offered in general classroom instruction. Over the past 18 years, nearly 1,600 students have been paired in one-on-one matches with business executives. The program provides a great way for experienced managers to give back by serving in a coaching and advising role, helping build interviewing skills, and to just share their industry knowledge of the subtle things that make for successful careers.
According to Barbra Marangell ’08, the director of Alumni Relations at the Merage School who oversees the program, “It creates a relationship that is personalized for each participant. The mentors wind up having a great impact on the students’ personal and professional growth, and they love interacting with our students. It’s incredibly fulfilling and a testament to the success of this program.”
At the culmination of the seven-month program, a protégé and mentor of the year are selected. This year’s Protégé of the Year is Alexandra Alcon Chaudhuri, FEMBA ’17. Chaudhuri was nominated by her mentor Pamela Maple-Steinmetz, EMBA ’98, Managing Partner at P-factor Healthcare Consultants.
“Alexandra (Lexi) is a unique, committed young woman. Her personal and career goals are focused on what she can do to alleviate poverty in her community and help non-profit organizations maximize their performance. I feel truly blessed to work with this amazing, unpretentious graduate student to help her fulfill her goals. She has proactively used every opportunity to maximize our mentorship relationship,” said Maple-Steinmetz.
Maple-Steinmetz credits Chaudhuri with followi
ng through on everything they agreed would advance her personally or professionally. “Her attitude is always gracious and she is open to new ideas. I was always proud to introduce her to my contacts, knowing I could count on her professionalism.”
She complimented Chaudhuri on being proactive in seeking business and career advice on how to handle situations or decisions, as well as resolving conflicting demands on her time. “The best way to describe Lexi is proactive, professional and willing to learn.”
This year’s Mentor of the Year is Lawrence Casey, President and Chief Operating Officer at Donahue Schriber, who was nominated by his protégé Luana Okumura, FTMBA ’18.
Okumura spoke about her experience with Casey and Donahue Schriber. “Larry presented me to all employees, not only as his protégé, but as Donahue Schriber’s protégé. I accompanied him to many meetings with top executives from DS. It was a great opportunity to learn about real estate redevelopment and project management. I was later invited to interview for an internship position,” said Okumura.
Following her participation in the mentorship program, Okumura secured an internship with Donahue Schriber and is working there now. She has also joined ULI and NAIOP and is engaged with the Merage School’s Center for Real Estate and the Real Estate Club at the recommendation of her mentor.
For more information about the Mentoring Program at the Merage School, please contact Barbra Marangell, firstname.lastname@example.org.