by ALEXA DAWID, Contributor
The Manhattan College Mentor Program celebrated another successful year with its annual program dinner on Thursday, Jan. 31 in Kelly Commons.
The event featured keynote speaker Steven Plate. Plate currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Capital Planning at Port Authority of NY and NJ. Previously, he was responsible for the planning and construction of $15-20 billion projects such as the One World Trade Center Tower and the September 11th Memorial and Museum.
Plate captivated mentors and mentees with his heartfelt address regarding hard-work, integrity, and his accomplishments in civil engineering.
“If you look at what we had here when we go handed this project [One World Trade Center], it was a hundred-foot hole in the ground, over 16 acres with millions of people around. Everyone had given up on New York City; they said they can’t build a big project again. We took that as our mantle. We took that personally,” Plate said.
The night continued with several awards. Jen Frankola was recognized as a Distinguished Mentor for her work as an attorney with Lewis Johs Law Firm and her contributions to MC. The Mentee Award was presented to Amanda Fischer, a Senior Marketing Manager at Updater.
Fischer acknowledged her own success as part of her willingness to utilize mentors, and she advocated for others to do the same.
“Never be afraid to search for new mentors. You’ll find great ones here, but keep looking,” Fischer said.
The Mentor Program is one of MC’s most successful and popular organizations. Starting in 1988 with only 14 students, the program has grown tremendously throughout the years. The Center for Career Development pairs members with a working professional in your area of interest to spend time familiarizing and gaining opportunities in the industry.
The program formally holds a meet and greet and farewell dinner, but all other activities are at the discretion of the mentor and mentee. Some of the suggested activities include shadowing the mentor at his/her workplace, resume editing and reviewing, conducting mock interviews, attending networking events, and taking part in conversation about the mentee’s future career goals and expectations.
Joseph Carrier, a freshman in the School of Engineering, said his mentor assisted him with a couple classes and gave him helpful advice regarding the engineering world as part of this year’s program.
Carrier’s mentor and a Civil Engineer for Skanska USA Building Inc. Mark Santos valued his time with the Mentor Program and hoped he was able to pass his understanding of ambition and determination to his mentee.
Santos urged, “Take advantage of everything presented to you, especially as a freshman.”
The Mentor Program can be applied to by liberal arts, business, and science students during their freshman and sophomore years to participate as sophomore and juniors. Students in the school of Engineering can apply during orientation to participate as freshmen. Pre-health and pre-law students may participate their sophomore or junior year.
For more information contact the Center for Career Services.