Suffolk mentorship program connects alumni and students

RAMP+logo

RAMP logo

Applications for Suffolk University’s Ram Alumni Mentoring Program are open and students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to work with Suffolk alumni.

According to RAMP’s website, the program “connects alumni and students in mutually rewarding, 6-month mentoring partnerships that foster the personal, educational, and career success of students and allow alumni to meaningfully engage with Suffolk.”

After applications are received, students are matched with alumni mentors between late October and early November, and they work together until May 1.

Joanna Lazarek, the associate director of Career Communities, Humanities and the Arts, started working at Suffolk in July 2015. She was asked to help create an alumni mentoring program and the idea for RAMP was born soon after, with the program launching for the first time in the spring of 2016.

The program allows for students and their mentors to develop a relationship and work on many different things that can help prepare them

RAMP Flier, courtesy of the Center for Career Equity, Development, and Inclusion

for the future.

“They typically meet one to two times per month, in-person and virtually, and do a variety of activities: talking about careers, reviewing resumes, LinkedIn profiles and cover letters, practicing interviews, exploring industries, job shadowing,” Lazarek said. “Mentors connect students to their colleagues for networking and attend career events together.”

Alumni John Walsh (‘91 MBA) became a mentor in the RAMP program beginning in 2018, when he was invited to join the Sawyer Business School Alumni Board. The first student he mentored was Mounir Elhout, a 2019 graduate who double majored in finance/Big Data and business analytics, and Walsh said his experience working with Elhout in the program was sensational.

“We so much enjoyed our experience together that for the last three years, we have co-mentored together. I’ve learned a lot working with Mounir in this co-mentor relationship,” Walsh said.

Elhout, now a Suffolk alum working at Rapid7 as a business intelligence analyst, credited Walsh and their relationship for being the reason he has been able to accomplish so much in his career.

“Once we were able to identify what I wanted to do post graduation, John and I created a plan and worked tirelessly on executing it. He helped me every step of the way and has been critical in any success I have had post graduation,” Elhout said.

For students, RAMP provides an invaluable experience, giving them the opportunity to expand their learning outside of the classroom.

“Learning how to develop a network and landing that job you deserve is a different skill set than doing well in school. The value of learning to build and use your network will be a life skill you will be able to take forward,” Walsh said.

According to Lazarek, the program is useful to students of all ages, whether they are a freshman or an upperclassman.

“First and second-year students benefit from having someone share their journey at Suffolk and help them to take advantage of student involvement, and think about courses and careers in broad terms,” Lazarek said. “As students get closer to graduation, they tend to want more specific career advice. Grad students take part in RAMP, too.”

Every participant’s experience in RAMP is tailored to the individual, according to Lazarek.

“The beauty of the program is that the mentees and mentors decide together on goals, and they are unique to every pair,” Lazarek said.

In addition to filling out an application, which you can do here, students must also attend an orientation session on Oct. 21 or 22. Applications for RAMP close on Friday, Oct. 22. 

Follow Grace on Twitter @GraceM123456