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Executive Connections program
As a Full-time MBA student at Arizona State University, you will collaborate with an executive mentor throughout the 21-month program. Executive Connections intentionally augments your leadership development by accelerating and enhancing your contributions to employers and society — and by providing a framework for career success throughout your lifetime. Our MBA students benefit from access to mentors with decades of experience in finance, supply chain management, business transformation, executive leadership, and more.
Elevate your leadership with executive support
The Executive Connections program seeks to elevate the leadership skills of W. P. Carey Full-time MBA students through one-on-one mentoring by proven business leaders. These mentors access their real-world business experiences to provide emotional intelligence, strategic decision-making, and career planning guidance to their mentees.
Through intensive 21-month one-on-one mentoring — which includes group leadership development opportunities and programmatic activities — the students graduate with enhanced abilities to propel team outcomes, influence stakeholders, make critical decisions in the face of ambiguity, better appreciate and embrace diversity of thoughts and backgrounds, and successfully lead organizations. Executive Connections mentors’ close involvement with their students embodies the W. P. Carey motto of Where Business is Personal.®
Areas of engagement
This program embraces the principles and values of W. P. Carey and ASU, through five key areas of engagement:
- Executive Connections mentors promote excellence in leadership, working with students to develop critical leadership skills.
- Executive Connections mentors emphasize the importance of integrity as they work with students on the personal and interpersonal skills needed to succeed professionally and gain the respect of others.
- Executive Connections mentors impact a student’s career trajectory by helping them prepare for, understand, and decide on internship and full-time employment opportunities including career transitions.
- Executive Connections mentors emphasize the importance of becoming better members of the community through a broad lens, encompassing business, personal, and academic pursuits. They encourage students to leverage their skills for good by giving back to their communities.
- Executive Connections mentors provide access to a global perspective to help students with social and cultural transitions, as well as providing significant insights into working in the U.S. and global markets.
The mentors have a diversity of experience across many industries. That experience gives students access to a wealth of knowledge to help them understand the types of career opportunities available to them. Individual mentor interaction also helps students hone their leadership skills in a non-judgmental environment.
Career mentors throughout life are often senior individuals at one's company. A great advantage of the Executive Connections program is that students can be fully honest with an advisor outside of their work environment about their reviews, their professional challenges, and the areas in which they would like to improve.
Terri Tierney Clark (Executive Connections mentor)
Executive Connections mentors
Leverage the experience of accomplished executives to strengthen your business and personal skills. Executive Connections pairs you with a volunteer group of senior executives, who mentor you as you embark on new career opportunities. Our executives-in-residence are an integral part of the Full‑time MBA program and a cornerstone of your experience at the W. P. Carey School of Business.
The level of access and the number of mentoring opportunities available to you through the Executive Connections program are rare among top business schools. Interaction with senior leaders of this caliber will help round out a more complete, more impactful MBA experience.Explore mentor bios
Executive Connections stories
Being involved with the Executive Connections program is transformative for Full-time MBA students and mentors alike. Many of our mentors return year after year, and continue to stay in touch with mentees as they navigate new chapters in their careers. Here, featured Executive Connections mentors and alumni share their perspectives.
Leadership is in the small moments
Executive Connections mentor and MBA alumna Holly Barrett reminds students that you don’t need a title to lead.
“There’s a lot of future career questions mentees need to answer honestly for themselves,” she says. “If your career trajectory is based on how other people are going to look at you, you may achieve success, but you may not enjoy it as much as you otherwise would have.”
Building empathy and career momentum
For Nidhi Virdi (Full-time MBA ’22), a Demand Manager at Meta, participating in the Executive Connections program led to deeper connections and empathy. "My executive mentor wasn't just listening to me, but also found ways to help in my career search," she says. Virdi leverages their ASU education while digging into customer problems and resolving them with technology solutions.
Access to those who came before you
In addition to serving as a mentor for MBA students, Bruce Gilmore (BS Purchasing/Materials Management ’89) is a W. P. Carey graduate and faculty associate in the highly regarded Department of Supply Chain Management. “Many of the incoming students that I talk to tell me that the Executive Connections program was one of the key reasons they chose ASU,” he says.
Become the best version of yourself
As a highly accomplished marketing professional, Executive Connections mentor David Greenberg loves helping Full-time MBA students recognize their strengths and carve out their own unique career paths. “I feel like my job is to help each of these students be their best self, and I can't think of a time where that didn't happen,” he says.
As a woman who has had a successful career in the financial industry, Executive Connections mentor Terri Tierney Clark relishes the opportunity to pass along knowledge and experience she's gained to the next generation. "It makes me feel good that I can help someone and their career and give them some building blocks that they can use in the future," she says.
Walking alongside professionals
W. P. Carey alum Rob Maloney (MBA '22) has seen how important a program like Executive Connections is to helping MBA students become the business leaders of tomorrow. "Leadership is not something that can be taught," he says. "It's something that must be learned."
Gain the confidence to be successful
Working with mentors was a vital part of W. P. Carey alumna Megan Hucek's (Full-time MBA '20) transformative MBA experience. "I was able to accomplish everything I set out to do with the support from my professors, peers, and Executive Connections mentors."
Be willing to embrace change
Even as a highly experienced business executive, mentor Lawrence Taylor finds that he gets as much out of the Executive Connections program as his mentees. "I find it incredibly rewarding to help them see their business opportunities or life from a slightly different perspective and a different lens."