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December 2013

Plan ahead and stay connected during break

On behalf of the Marquette University Alumni Association and your mentors, good luck with next week’s finals. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to take advantage of the upcoming break and consider the following:

  • Schedule a time to connect in person or via Skype.
  • If mentees reside or are traveling to where a mentor lives, consider scheduling a one-day job shadow.
  • Mentors, are there any individuals matching your mentee’s career interest that they could meet?
  • Revisit the goals you outlined together. Are you on track? Should any goals be adjusted? If so, make note of them on the goals form.

Merkel and Neu Building Successful Mentor Relationship

Randall NeuIn the short time mentee Randall Neu, Eng '15, has known his mentor Dan Merkel, Eng '06 and VFD sales specialist of Texas Air Systems in Dallas/Fort Worth, Randall has already found the experience beneficial. “We’ve had lengthy conversations, including Dan’s suggestions to get involved with more than one student group, the importance of networking and the benefits of pursuing an MBA,” Randall says. “I’m looking forward to furthering our discussions, including networking and learning from other engineering professionals thanks to Dan’s contacts.”

Dan has also learned from Randall. “Serving as his mentor has provided an opportunity to connect with a Marquette student and appreciate what’s being taught in the classroom and beyond,” Dan says.

Five Questions With...Mentor Jackie Palank, Comm '07

Jackie PalankFive Questions With...highlights mentors and mentees in the Marquette University Alumni Association Mentor Pilot Program. This month features Jackie Palank, who is mentoring Dan Paulmeyer, Comm '15.

1. What was your first job following Marquette and what did it teach you?
I’m still working at my first job, as a reporter for Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal. After six years, I’m still learning something new every day about reporting, business, teamwork and leadership.

2. Why are you serving as a mentor?
I’m serving as a mentor because so many people at Marquette helped me start my career, and I want to pay it forward.

3. Professional development book you’d recommend.
“Lean In,” by Sheryl Sandberg, for women and men.

Jackie Palank is a reporter for Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal in Chicago.

Read the entire interview.

Five Questions With...Mentor Bob Kelly, Eng '78

Bob KellyThis month also features Bob Kelly, who is mentoring Mike Tattoni, Eng '16

1. What was your first job after graduating from Marquette?
My first job was with the City of Waukesha Engineering Dept. As an entry level engineer, I was in charge of a survey crew that laid out new subdivision utility work.

2. Why are you serving as a mentor?
Mentoring enables me to educate a student in things that were learned the hard way. Insights I could have learned through a mentor would have helped advance my career more quickly.

3. How do you manage work/life balance?
I'll use the lunch hour to reply to emails and phone calls. This frees up time to be home with my family for dinner as well as focus on other areas that I find fulfilling, such as volunteering. I encourage young adults to find time to do what they love, including volunteering and extracurricular activities. It’s a great benefit to all involved.

Bob Kelly is a civil engineer for the City of Wauwatosa in Wauwatosa, Wis.

Read the entire interview.

Five Questions With...appears in the monthly mentor newsletter and the online mentor toolbox.

Talk the talk: Additional conversation topics with your mentor or mentee

For mentees
- Follow-up with your mentor regarding their advice. Was it helpful? What was learned?
- Does your mentor have a mentor? If so, what have they learned? Do they keep in touch?
- What does your mentor wish they would’ve known while in college before entering the job market?

For mentors
- What is your mentee doing really well to help them move toward their career interests?
- What does your mentee believe they are not doing that is preventing them from moving toward their career interests?
- How can you assist your mentor where they need the most help?

Get more conversation topics with your mentee/mentor.

News Corner: Do You Really Need a Mentor?

The value of a mentor can pay dividends today and well into the future, according to this post.

Share advice with other mentees and mentors
Have you had a great conversation with your mentor/mentee about a topic you think others might find beneficial? Please email your insights to Dan DeWeerdt for inclusion in a future newsletter.

On behalf of the Marquette University Alumni Association, Merry Christmas, happy holidays and best wishes prosperous New Year.

Visit the MUAA Mentor Pilot Program website for more information or contact Dan DeWeerdt at or (414) 288-4740.

P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

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