We are enormously proud of our St. Thomas alumni and their generosity of spirit as so many support students and fellow alumni through networking and mentorship. All alumni can network with one another or sign up to mentor students using St. Thomas Connect. This free online tool is exclusively for St. Thomas alumni and students.
Matthew Arcaro ’16 MBA
Director, supply chain process design, Target Corp., Minneapolis, Minnesota
Matthew Arcaro offers this advice to mentors and mentees, “Plan the time and be honest on what you are trying to achieve. Not every mentorship will be a connection, which is expected! Be purposeful and have a clear understanding of what you are trying to get out of it.”
Arcaro said the Tommie Network has been critical in his own career growth. “I run into fellow Tommies at work and have been able to start relationships enabling my network to grow, even in areas outside of my current field of work,” he said.
He honed his networking skills while studying abroad in London, his most memorable St. Thomas experience. “We met with several leaders from world-renowned companies, organizations and governments. The first part of each day was organized around concepts, background of the company and the impact of the leader. The second part of our day was hands-on with case studies related to what we learned,” he said. “This direct application of concepts while seeking perspectives and feedback from peers and senior leaders was invaluable to developing my own perspectives.”
Corey Nicolas Collins ’12 MBA
President, brand consultant and designer, Cordavii Brand Consulting, Edina, Minnesota
“My fondest memories as a student were discovering the breadth of knowledge and expertise that my fellow MBA classmates brought to the table,” Corey Nicolas Collins said. “As an entrepreneur, I was able to lean on the knowledge I gained from fellow classmates and enjoyed watching the future successes they brought to the Twin Cities ecosystem.”
Those colleagues remain a critical network for Collins as he grows in his career. “Understanding you have an outstanding network of fellow Tommies who have walked through similar experiences as you have while growing as professionals and individuals is powerful. Being able to connect with fellow Tommies who I attended class with provides so much fresh insight and perspective as I continue my career.”
Collins has given back as a mentor to other Tommies and encourages others to do the same. “Be open and explore! While no one gets a road map to their career or life's learned experiences, being open and always learning has provided a depth of new perspectives very hard to reach on your own without nurturing relationships, either as a mentor or mentee,” he said.
Kate Jeter ’00
Managing director, Healthxchange, London, England
Kate Jeter credits alumnus Mark Weeks ’92 for the strong Tommie Network in London. “Several years ago, he organized us into an alumni group. And while we’re close-knit, we are very welcoming to new or visiting alumni,” Jeter said. “Through the group I’ve found a real community of individuals who I feel a meaningful connection with; they are terrific people who are all so encouraging and kind, and in a city as big as London, I would never have met them without St. Thomas as the common denominator.”
In her experience as a mentor, she encourages both parties to be prepared and ready to commit to the time it takes for genuine results.
“I think that establishing a commitment to your mentor or mentee is really important and come to the table ready for a conversation. Prepare questions and your own talking points to help guide the relationship and conversation,” she said. “Whether it’s a one-off half-hour to share career experiences or a longer-term monthly meeting, it’s so important to commit to making the time.”
Dan Hildebrandt ’16 MBA
Human resources business partner, manager, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
Dan Hildebrandt wants to remind mentors this humbling but important truth: You do not need to be an expert in everything to be a good mentor. “One of the most valuable things a mentor can do is to open their network to their mentee, so don’t be shy about leveraging your connections to share their expertise and help grow your mentee’s professional network,” he said.
“For mentees, this experience is yours to own and drive, so define your purpose for entering into the relationship, take it seriously and commit to making the most of the time and experience your mentor is sharing with you.”
As an alumnus of the part-time MBA program, Hildebrandt appreciates the lifelong value he walked into as a member of the Tommie Network. He appreciates the insights his classmates brought into the classroom as they worked through the curriculum.
“The way St. Thomas programming brought the real world into the classroom was a key differentiator for me,” Hildebrandt said.
Lora Young ’12
U.S. carrier sales lead, Apple, SanFrancisco, California
Like many alumni, Lora Young recounts those early days as some of the most impressionable in her college career. “My fondest memories from St. Thomas are meeting my best friends during freshman year in Dowling Hall and then living together in a house near campus. We still remain good friends today,” she said.
Leaning on the Tommie Network was especially helpful in her move to California. “I was able to attend two St. Thomas alumni events in San Francisco and connect with other alumni who live in the Bay Area. This was a wonderful opportunity,” Young said. “I was able to meet a diverse group of people from a wide range of graduating years.”
As Tommies consider ways to build their own networks, she encourages them to identify goals and be willing to put in the time to make it successful for both people involved. “A strong mentorship goes both ways,” she said. “As a mentee, come prepared and know what you are looking to receive from the relationship. As a mentor, make sure to carve out time and check in, as well as provide honest feedback and advice. Both parties should be receiving value from one another.”