New program fosters professional community for alumni, students

Research shows that close relationships with a mentor—whether that be a professor, advisor, classmate, or work supervisor—is linked to academic success during and after college. Last spring, Louisiana Tech’s College of Business decided to make these mentoring relationships formal, connecting alumni and current students through a new program called Louisiana Tech Business Connect.

Open to students pursuing their Master of Business Administration at Louisiana Tech University, Business Connect allows alumni to engage with their alma mater in an impactful way—regardless of their proximity to campus.

“Our MBA program has expanded significantly over the past few years, with students spanning the globe,” said Dr. Chris Martin, dean of the College of Business. “With many of them being online only, they may not get the same ‘Tech experience’ that our on-campus students enjoy. This platform allows both our Online and Traditional MBAs to make meaningful connections with our outstanding alumni who are spread across the world.”

Mentors can offer support in a variety of ways—from introducing students to professional contacts and providing interview or career coaching to reviewing resumes and simply serving as a sounding board.

Samantha Taylor, a recent MBA graduate who also completed her undergraduate degree in marketing at Tech, was one of the first students to join Business Connect.

“Joining Louisiana Tech Business Connect was the smartest decision I could’ve made,” said Taylor. “I was immediately attracted to this platform because it was a direct way for me to network with Louisiana Tech alumni. Networking is very important, and Business Connect made it easier to initiate conversations with others similar to me.”

Based on common interests and career goals, Taylor was matched with Sarah Warren, a 2000 marketing alumna who serves as vice president and director of marketing at Argent Financial Group. The two met for coffee and have stayed in touch via email.

“I was pleased to be able to encourage and council Samantha and also connect her with others who could give her even more career advice specific to her interests,” said Warren. “Personally, I was fed by my mentee’s own energy and positive outlook for our career field. She also asked some challenging, thought-provoking questions that caused me to reflect on my career and desires for the career path still ahead of me.”

Taylor has connected with other alumni based on Warren’s recommendations, and is thankful for the many “gems” her mentor gifted her with, noting she will take them along as she begins her own career in digital marketing at Red Ball Oxygen.

“I appreciated the opportunity to lend support to fellow Bulldogs as they begin their career,” said Warren. “We all have valuable life and career lessons that can be shared for the benefit those who have come through the COB—or CAB for us oldies!—after us.”

For Taylor, learning about Warren’s experiences has been invaluable, so much so that she encourages other business students to join the platform and begin making connections.

“You won’t regret joining this program,” said Taylor. “The College of Business family is so close-knit and intentional when it comes to our career success. Being a part of Louisiana Tech Business Connect will instill the tools and confidence to start off your career.”

College of Business students or alumni wishing to join Louisiana Tech Business Connect should visit latechbusinessconnect.com or contact Mary Susan Britt, Executive Director of Development, at marysusan@latechalumni.org for more information.


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