During the second term of Columbia University’s Executive Master of Science in Technology Management program, every student is matched with a professional mentor from an exclusive network of more than 230 seasoned executives. The mentor and mentee remain connected through the student’s final defense of their master’s project.
Executive Technology Management student Samantha (Sam) Wilmot (’19SPS), IaaS Cloud Programme Manager for Deutsche Bank, speaks with her mentor, Jorge Rodriguez, President and CEO of Telmex USA and Telvista Inc., for as long as an hour about every three weeks. “Jorge is incredible busy. He runs a number of companies for Héctor Slim Seade [CEO of Telmex Internacional] and somehow manages to make time for me,” she says.
Such mentorship yields measurably positive professional results. Wilmot gives just three such examples from her experience.
1. She’s Elevated Her Game
Rodriguez has inspired Wilmot to assess her career path and enhance her social capital as she develops her master’s project, a product to improve e-commerce with augmented reality. He’s been especially helpful in encouraging her to make important new asks. The mentoring has “given me the confidence to speak with people who I previously thought may be out of my reach,” she says.
2. She’s Learned the Art of the Pitch from a Master
“Although I have done plenty of presentations before, I have never really had to sell an idea that requires a multimillion dollar investment,” says Wilmot. “Of course, that’s what Jorge does all the time. He was able to express to me how to frame the storyboard, what to focus on, and what would grab people’s attention—the sales pitch, basically.”
3. She’s Strengthened Her Network
Rodriguez has gone “above and beyond” to help Wilmot find the first customer for her product idea, and program leadership have helped expand and strengthen her network. Academic Director Dr. Art Langer connected her with Tom Cowan, Technology Management Program Manager, about her project idea. “Tom made time for me and connected me with great experts in the field,” she says.