For the first time, some students from Arrupe College — Loyola’s associate degree school — have the opportunity to join a program allowing them to be mentored by their peers in Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business.
Fourteen students from Arrupe College joined The Quinlan Arrupe Mentorship Program as mentees, and will be matched with a student ambassador from Quinlan who’ll serve as a mentor.
Arrupe College became one of Loyola’s 11 schools and colleges in 2015. It offers a two-year associate’s degree program with financial aid packages to serve students concerned about high coursework and costs of college, according to its webpage.
Around 350 students are enrolled at Arrupe, The Phoenix reported. After graduation from Arrupe, students who meet specific grade point average requirements — which vary between colleges and schools — will be granted admission to Loyola, according to its webpage.
The collaboration between Arrupe and Quinlan was proposed by Arrupe’s current student government president Jacque Stefanic and Judy Dominguez-Ramirez, a 2018 Arrupe graduate who served as a senator in Arrupe’s student government. It was brought to Kevin Stevens, dean of Quinlan, in May, according to Sarah Shaaban, assistant dean for student success at Arrupe College and one of the program’s faculty advisors.
Shaaban said the partnership was an initiative driven by Arrupe students’ interest in Quinlan.
“It was something that the students themselves wanted,” Shaaban said. “I think they wanted to get connected more with Quinlan, to learn more about opportunities that are available, and what [the application process] is like, and careers in business.”
The mentorships will last for one academic year, with mentors and mentees expected to meet 2-3 times each semester, according to Shaaban. It’s unclear what type of work will be done between the students, but mentorship strategies could vary based on each partnership.
Shaaban said the biggest component of the mentorship is to help Arrupe students develop goals they want to reach in business. She also mentioned how the program could encourage Arrupe students to get involved with workshops or student organizations within Quinlan.
“Accompaniment and community building I think are the biggest things, and encouraging involvement in the co-curricular activities,” Shaaban said.
Out of 25 Arrupe students who went through the application process to join the program, 15 were chosen based on their intended pre-majors — concentrations within their associate’s degree concentration — and responses to essay questions, according to Shaaban.
Of the students chosen, 14 accepted the offer to join, Shaaban said.
Carlos Jr. Hernandez, a 19-year-old studying business at Arrupe, said he joined the program to learn about specific areas of business he could pursue.
“Having this mentor program would mean … getting more insight into what [my mentor’s] major is, what they’d like to do with it, and just get their insight in how they were able to get to choose their business major,” the sophomore said.
Frida De Santiago, an 18-year-old studying business at Arrupe, said she joined the program for the chance to be guided in a way she hasn’t been before.
“I’m a first generation student, so I don’t have guidance, I don’t have anyone to really go to for [guidance],” De Santiago said. “This is a good opportunity to talk to people in that field, in that type of environment, to get a different perspective on things.”
Within the program, 18 Quinlan ambassadors — Quinlan students who represent the school and help advise fellow Quinlan students — will be assigned as mentors to the Arrupe students, according to Shaaban.
Mashal Hassan, a sophomore accounting major in Quinlan and co-chair of the Quinlan ambassadors, said she was looking forward to the experience of being a mentor.
“I think it’s amazing to be a mentor,” the 19-year-old said. “I think that’s such a rewarding experience for myself, and Arrupe’s right across the street, I know that they want to utilize our sources at Quinlan as well, so just building that connection, building that bridge across the street, we’re all really keen to do.”
Brady Morris, a 19-year-old undecided business major at Quinlan, said he’s excited to gain a new perspective from Arrupe students and share his own experiences at Loyola.
“I think there’s a lot of things that when you first go to college that you don’t know about,” Morris said. “I think having someone who’s been there before, and who can be there for you and help you through it, with little things or big things, like how to pick a major, how to figure out what you want to do with a career, would be really hopefully impactful.”
Shaaban said she hopes this program serves as a chance for students from the schools to be more included in each other’s environments.
“I think the more opportunities we create for students to get to know other students from different colleges is a great thing,” Shaaban said. “I think a lot of times it’s not knowing, so when you don’t know, you make assumptions, or you just don’t understand. So I think creating that space in which people can get to know each other is a really positive thing.”
Hernandez said he sometimes feels out of place and awkward at Loyola, but said he hopes this program connects Arrupe to other Loyola schools.
“I feel like this would open a really nice bridge, meeting more Loyola students, just catching a little more insight,” Hernandez said. “Even though we’re [at Water Tower Campus], and they’re over [at Lake Shore Campus], we’re still among the same school.”
Morris also said he hopes this mentorship brings Arrupe and Quinlan students closer together.
“I’m hoping that through this program we can start bringing the student populations a little closer together, because right now it seems like they don’t know that much about each other,” Morris said.