Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Q Mentorship program gives student career direction and purpose

Q Mentorship program gives student career direction and purpose

Alumnus Craig S. Paulson (left) mentored student Charles Lencioni through the Q Mentorship Program, which helped Charles find his purpose and career direction.

After serving in the U.S. Army for 8 years, Charles Lencioni decided to go back to school, choosing Loyola to pursue his bachelor’s degree. But in that transition from the Army, he lost his sense of direction and purpose.

"I had a lot of soul searching and personal reflection to find something else that would be as fulfilling," said the junior accounting major. He ended up finding that fulfilment thanks to the Q Mentorship program.

“The Q Mentorship program was a great opportunity for me to rebuild myself, rebound, and reinvent myself after the Army,” he says.

Connecting students and alums

The Q mentorship program matched Lencioni with Craig S. Paulson (BBA ’17) a financial analyst at W.W. Grainger.

Lencioni says, “When I met with Craig, I was able to see what he did and how he enjoyed it. It gave me the direction and focus that I needed to start really digging into the business classes to find a major I enjoyed and could be proud of.”

In addition to a sense of direction, he identified four other takeaways from his experience:

  1. The Q Mentorship program helps validate what students are doing and that it’s worth the effort.
  2. It gives students an experience into the corporate world.
  3. It gives students someone they can go to with questions about a specific industry.
  4. It builds confidence for job interviews.

According to Lencioni, the Q Mentorship program was a life-changing experience that he can’t recommend enough to other students.

Mentor as mentee

For Paulson, serving as a Quinlan mentor was a natural extension of his undergraduate days. At Loyola, he was constantly coming across social justice initiatives sponsored by student organizations and was challenged to think differently in his business, theology, and core curriculum courses.

He says, “If I could help just one student find their path, or provide some guidance in some capacity, then Loyola’s mantra of being a “Person for Others” would be lived out, so I signed up.”

His favorite moment during the mentorship program was listening to Lencioni reflect on his experiences as a mentee at a Quinlan event hosted by Dean Kevin Stevens.

“In some respects, he mentored me in return,” says Paulson. “He opened my eyes that mentorship can be at all different levels or stages in life, and his openness to share his story with me gave me the confidence to share my story with him in return.”

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