Marquette University Alumni Association Mentor Newsletter
May 2017

The year in pictures: 2016-17 MUAA Mentor Program comes to a close

2016-17 MUAA Mentor Program finaleThanks to an outstanding year-long effort by alumni mentors, student mentees and campus partners, the MUAA Mentor Program concluded on April 27 with approximately 80 participants celebrated the close of the 2016-17 initiative. Thank you to all participants who helped make this another successful year.

See the year in pictures slideshow here (and clicking the monitor icon in the right-hand corner), including mentor-mentee meetings on campus, Milwaukee, Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York and California and other mentor events like the April 27 finale.

Share your experience in the mentor program finale survey

SurveyProvide feedback today about your program participation through this brief online survey. Results are an important component to evaluating outcomes and future planning.

Participants who complete the survey by May 5 and email Dan DeWeerdt indicating FINAL SURVEY COMPLETE in the subject line will qualify for a chance to win a Marquette gift package.   


Keep in touch and take your mentor-mentee relationship to new heights

Although this year’s mentor program has formally concluded, consider these suggestions for lifelong learning:

  • Touch base periodically. Share your latest news. New job? Promotion? New stage in your career? Looking to get feedback about an idea? Mentees and mentors- even Marquette mentor program staff- are an email or phone call away to stay connected.
  • Review your goals and complete any unfinished business. If certain topics weren’t addressed, address them now.
  • If you live in the same town or traveling where your mentee or mentor, plan a visit to meet in person or consider job shadowing.
  • Keep in touch with MUAA staff for career-related questions or introductions to alumni in your field of interest.
  • Expand your network by contacting alumni in the MUAA Mentor Directory.

We are family….what happens when one mentor can’t host her mentee  Delia Marshall and Caroline Stanko
When mentor Maura Farrell, Arts ’92 and managing director at Kivvit in Chicago, wasn’t able to host her mentee Caroline Stanko for a planned shadow day due to three sick kids, she simply made one call. Fortunately, Maura’s sister, Delia Marshall, Arts ’00, is a fellow mentee in Chicago and an executive at Eicoff, an advertising agency.

“Thank God for sisters,” Maura said. “Since Delia’s career path is also in the communications industry, it was a perfect way for Caroline to shadow, visit the city and get a sense of our work.”

Delia was more than willing to host Caroline, too (shown, left). The day included an extensive conversation ranging from evaluating jobs and companies to interviewing. Caroline was also a guest of Delia and her parents (her father Walter Farrell, is an engineering alumnus) at the Union League Club of Chicago where author Mark Shriver shared insights about Pope Francis and his new book.

“I’ve had an excellent experience mentoring my student, Olivia Bohringer, so this was just another great opportunity to help Caroline- and my sister.”

Mentee alumna shares 10 tips for life following graduation

Abby Cole, Marilynn Gardner and Tricia LindseyAccording to young alumna and a member of the program’s Student Mentee Alumni Network, Abby Cole (far left with mentee Marilynn Gardner), nothing can prepare you for the major transition to a Marquette graduate. According to Abby, “Graduation weekend is filled with friends, family and celebration,” she says. “But the next thing you know, you move away, start a new job and it seems like everything about your life changes in a matter of days.”

Since graduating last May and being in the ’real world’ for almost a year, she’s offered the following insights for Marquette graduates to prepare for this important transition.

1. Relax and enjoy graduation. It's a scary time, but everyone is going through the same feelings. Although it may seem like it, most classmates don't have it all figured out.
2. Try not to let rejection keep you down. The job market is competitive and it’s easy to get discouraged by rejection. Be patient.
3. Don’t try and rush the job search. Some friends didn’t secure their positions until nearly six months after graduation. There's a job for you, and it will take time to find the right fit.
4. Don’t feel bad about moving back home. Many students don’t quite have a plan after graduation and end up living with their parents for a year or two. It’s not always easy, but you’ll save money and have more time to do things than you did on campus.
5. Make it a priority to keep in touch with close friends. One of the most difficult parts about leaving Marquette campus is not being five minutes away from your friends. Whether they’re in the same city or a short road trip away, make an effort to see them.
6. Work hard and ask questions at your first job. It’s not easy being the newbie at work- it’s even tougher when you’re one of the youngest employees in the office. Work hard and make an effort to get to know all of your colleagues. It’s important to develop a positive reputation early on and it’s ok to ask for help when you get lost.
7. Take advantage of your employee benefits. In addition to the health insurance and retirement plan provided by your employer, many companies offer personal and professional development programs. Take time for yourself to reduce stress.
8. Get involved with local professional development groups. Professional development organizations are a great way to expand your network and meet other young professionals. Some have mentor programs, too, which would be a valuable and familiar experience.
9. Join the Marquette Alumni Association. There are local clubs in many cities. Game-watching parties provide an excuse to keep chanting, “Go Marquette” and networking events will be useful if you’re still job hunting.
10. Return and visit campus! Homecoming, National Marquette Day and Alumni Reunion Weekend are just a few of the many alumni-friendly events throughout the year. Don’t be afraid to come back as a first-year alum!

Five Questions With... Mentee Alumna Amanda Stellberg, Comm ’16  
(Mentor: Rondell Sheridan, Comm ’80)

Amanda Stellberg has worked with the likes of Conan O'Brien, Judd Apatow (shown here) and more. She resides in the Los Angeles area and provided these insights related to her work in the entertainment industry..

Amanda Stellberg and Judd Apatow1. You graduated last year and worked with mentor and actor/writer/director Rondell Sheridan in the MUAA Mentor Program. What have you done since moving to Los Angeles?
Last year I interned for Apatow Productions for six months followed by interning for a talent management company that manages touring stand-up comedians. During the second internship I was co-producer for a Sirius Radio show hosted by Gabriel Iglesias.
2. How did your time in the College of Communication prepare you for these positions?
I was really valued for the Sirius Radio show due to my media law knowledge when it came time to read and summarize contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
3. What challenges have you faced?
There have been struggles. I was asked to be a writing consultant for a screenplay, which is supposed to have funding behind it, but I had to walk away because of my morals. It would have been my first really big writing credit but I couldn't get behind the script content.
4. Any suggestions how students can prepare for life after Marquette?
For graduates, prepare to feel like every decision you make (moving to a new city, taking a new job, for example) is super permanent- but it isn't. If you don't like a situation, change it!
5. Seventeen words for the Class of 2017?
Set personal expectations. The real world doesn't run on semesters. Determine what's important for what you accomplish.

In the News

Congratulations to these mentor program participants for their recent achievements.

JJ AlbertsJJ Alberts, Arts ’93, has been named general manager for Providence Friars Sports Properties at Learfield. He completed his fourth year serving in the MUAA Mentor Program.



Meghan ArnoldMeghan Arnold (Comm ’02) is now Typekit Product Marketing Manager at Adobe in San Francisco. She’s served four years in the MUAA Mentor Program. (Mentee: James Davies, Communication)


Marilynn GardnerMarilynn Gardner (Jour ’88) received the Marquette University Diederich College of Communication’s Communicator of the Year award on April 29. She’s served two years in the MUAA Mentor Program. (Mentee: Jennifer Lobb, Communication)


Derek GutierrezDerek Gutierrez, Bus Ad ’04, has been named senior
manager – Away from Home Marketing – for the California Region at PepsiCo. He leads channel marketing for the full PepsiCo portfolio in the California Region.


Jason RaeJason Rae, Arts '09, has been elected secretary of the Democratic National Committee. He completed his third year in the MUAA Mentor Program. (Mentee: Taylor Gauthier, Arts)



Nadja SimmondsNadja Simmonds, Communication mentee, will be in the Milwaukee area this summer teaching workshops and performing Shakespeare in Wisconsin State Parks with the Summit Players Theatre. She and her fellow cast mates will put on The Comedy of Errors, in which she plays a multitude of roles including Duke Solinus and Luciana. (Mentor: Carisa Bareca, Comm ’02)

If you have a new job, received a promotion, award or volunteered recently that you'd like to share with fellow mentors and mentees In the News, send it with a headshot to

MUAA Mentor Program Toolbox offers relevant mentor, career resources

From mentor and mentee icebreaker questions to timely and trending mentor and professional development articles, visit the MUAA Mentor Program Toolbox. This month's featured resource:

3 reasons all great leaders have mentors (and mentees): Forbes

Mentor program questions or comments? Contact MUAA Mentor Program Director Dan DeWeerdt at or (414) 288-4740.


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Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

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