Alumnus reflects on mentorship role
By Monica Sather| Student reporter
Alumnus Jim Dempsey, BBA ’81, vice president at Associated Bank, wanted to give the gift of time to his alma mater – and found the perfect fit serving as a mentor in the Q Mentorship Program.
The Q Mentorship Program supplements Quinlan’s required career preparation course by pairing current business students with Loyola alumni and friends like Dempsey.
Here, Dempsey talks about his involvement in the program, his experience, and why other alumni should get involved.
Why did you get involved in the mentorship program?
About five years ago, I looked at myself and thought, "Why haven’t I contributed more to Loyola?" When I heard that Loyola was looking for those who have career advice, I thought that this was something I could really contribute to. I thought it was high time that I got involved more readily, and therefore I did.
What is the best thing about being a mentor?
The best thing is the feeling of helping someone. I’ve mentored two people, and I really feel students get something out of it and ask great questions. I also feel that the students appreciated my time, which I think is really important. Knowing that the time, effort, and advice that I am giving is appreciated helps motivate me.
For many years, I wasn’t really contributing to the institution from a physical point of view, i.e., my time. As I have a child of my own in college, giving physical time is much easier for me than monetary gifts, and I am more than happy to do that. And comparing those two—monetary to physical—the soul enhancing is a much more direct benefit of the physical.
What would you say to people considering becoming a mentor?
I think if someone is looking at how they can contribute, sometimes it’s monetarily, sometimes it’s actions, and sometimes it’s both. If you can, do both, and if you haven’t done the action part yet, then absolutely try it. I can almost guarantee that you will feel that much better as a person.
For those who have been in a career for a while, like myself, you know the challenges of it, and if you can help someone avoid a pothole or a hiccup, go for it.
Everyone has something to contribute. Whether it is two years, five years, or 20+ years of career experience, all are different, all are important, and all are pieces to a big puzzle. It is helpful to students to have somebody to put some of those pieces together. Every one of those experiences is important.