A Mentor for Every Student

Published on March 30, 2011

Pairing Students with Successful Entrepreneurs is Goal of WCE Investor Mentor Program

Students from the Wolff Center benefit from relationships with real-world entrepreneur mentors.

Imagine that you are an entrepreneurship student, and Steve Jobs decided to help pay for your education and at the same time guided you through the formation of your business idea.

This is the basis of what the Investor Mentor Program in the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business, strives to achieve — a mentor for every entrepreneurship major.

The program recently held an event to honor the mentors who have given their time and resources to students and to introduce this year’s group of students to their mentors. Some of the city’s foremost entrepreneurs and business leaders attended, both as returning and first-time mentors.

“The mentoring program is all about who’s got your back,” said David Cook, director of mentoring programs, who lead the event.

Since its inception more than a decade ago, the Wolff Center has worked to pair students with experienced entrepreneurs. Some of the first mentors for the program include Star Furniture chairman Melvyn Wolff (’53), now namesake of the center, as well as founding professors Bill Sherrill and Keith Cox.

As the entrepreneurship program at UH Bauer grows, the college plans to expand the mentorship program to match each student with an “Investor Mentor,” Cook said, committing $5,000 a year for three years to provide students with financial support to complete their education. The pairings also allow students to meet with their mentors regularly to develop their business plans, develop a “Personal Purpose Program,” and have a real world perspective.

“During the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship experience, our students are asked to take a look inside themselves,” Cook said. “Our hope is that along with their mentor, they are able to share their dreams and their goals for their future and through that, better understand themselves and their business plan.”

The recent event allowed the Wolff Center to recognize longtime contributors with the Excellence in Mentoring award. Honorees included Logan Brown, Ron Farmer, Monte Pendleton and Beth Williams. Each of these mentors had remarkable stories of their lives, but their recognition came for the contributions they’ve made year after year with aspiring entrepreneurs.

“In every endeavor, there are some people who operate at a level of passion and commitment that are truly extraordinary,” Cook said as he distributed the plaques of recognition.

“My hope is that people in this program will come out of it with lifelong relationships,” he added. “We want to connect quality people and we want our students to be able to say, ‘My mentor was someone who helped me become better than I thought I could be.’”

For more information about the WCE mentoring program, click here.

Melvyn Wolff, third from left, and Dave Cook, center, recognized longtime contributors with the Excellence in Mentoring award.

By Ryan Tang

Posted Under: Faculty and Staff

4 replies to “A Mentor for Every Student

  1. marlon roberts

    Dear Advisor,
    My name is Marlon Roberts. I was in the University of Southern University at Baton Rouge, LA where I also have taken classes at Louisiana State Louisiana University in Baton Rouge,
    LA , were 10 minutes apart. My Degree was in the Electronics Engineering Technology Department. In my last year, I took a vacation to Southern California to visit my freinds. I ended up working for a Military Semiconductor Import/Export Broker firm in Orange County, CA. I then started a Import/Export Company. My Partners were from SEOUL KOREA. We did very well , but as in any business, things happen! I would like to get some advice, and get a degree from a great university like UH. My sister, Jennifer Roberts attended a Law Summer Program at your school in the 1980’s from a scholorship under the former mGovenor
    Edwin Edwards. From living in Baton Rouge,LA/New Orleans,LA – I feel that I have a great communication skill with my new neighbors. I was recently married from a great woman from Houston. I would like to make Houston my home, and I would like to speak to an Advisor about decsion making on my career oportunities.

    Thank Yiu For Your Concideration,

    Marlon J. Roberts

  2. marlon roberts

    Dear Advisor,
    My name is Marlon Roberts. I attended Southern University and also Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge,Louisana. My Degree was in the the Electronics Engineering Technology Department. In my last year, I took a vacation to Southern California to visit my freinds. I stayed after receiving various job opportuninities in the field that I was working to acheive a degreein. The jobs I held were with Military Semiconductor Import/Export Broker firm in Orange County, CA. I then started an Import/Export Company. My Partners were from SEOUL KOREA. We did very well , but as in any business, things happen, I would like to get some advice what classes to take that would allow me to combine C.I.S. and Marketing L,C.. My goal is to get a degree from a great university like the University Of Houston , TX. My sister, Jennifer Roberts attended U.of H. Law School in 1982. Since Houston is my home now a degree is my goal. I would like to speak to an Advisor about dision making on my career opportunities.

    Thank You For Your Consideration, email; marloninhouston@yahoo.com

    Marlon J. Roberts ph 832-865-1803

  3. Pingback: The Ticker » WCE Holding Forum For Prospective Applicants

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