Ilitch School Corporate Mentor Program receives $150,000 commitment from Ally to continue key sponsorship

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The Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University is pleased to share that Ally Financial, a leading digital financial services company, has pledged $150,000 over three years to extend and grow its role as the key sponsor and primary corporate partner of the Corporate Mentor Program.

Established by Dean Robert Forsythe in 2015, the Corporate Mentor Program affords Ilitch Business students the opportunity to be matched with a professional corporate mentor and work one-on-one throughout the entire academic year.

“The Corporate Mentor Program is a career-focused mentorship program for undergraduate business students who are the first in their family to get a bachelor’s degree in the U.S.,” said Amber Conway, co-director of the program. “A lot of the mentors we have right now are custom matched for the student, so we have everything from small business owners to Fortune 500 executives.”

The program has quickly grown from a pilot class of five student-mentor pairs in summer 2015 to a 2020-2021 cohort of 72 student-mentor pairs.

“The program has been enhanced over the years to now include exclusive programming in dining etiquette training, small-group networking and professional-development preparedness,” said the program’s other co-director, Emily Kravetz. “We are also lucky to get one-on-one support and outreach from Ally representatives who coordinate professional skills panels, Wallet Wise and financial fitness events, and recruiting opportunities.”

Ally’s continued support ensures the program will allow students to work closely with their mentors to help move their interests forward, gain exposure to the day-to-day world of work and experience other professional opportunities for success after college. Over the course of its first five years, the program has placed 83 percent of its graduating seniors directly into internships or permanent positions relevant to their academic majors.

“Ally’s participation in the Ilitch School’s Corporate Mentor Program is yet another example of our promise to ‘do it right’ in our communities,” said Mike Wendt, executive director of HR Compensation and Finance Shared Services at Ally. “This program enables our employees to get involved at the local level, making a meaningful and lasting impact on future leaders who are paving the way not only for themselves, but also the generations to follow.”

Along with supporting the program financially, Ally supplies at least 10 mentors every cycle and provides guest speakers for events.

“It’s inspiring to see this community of first-generation college students benefit from the tools, resources and partnership that the Corporate Mentor Program provides,” Wendt added. “This program a great fit for Ally’s culture, which places a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Our employees have embraced the opportunity to mentor such an impressive group of students, who will undoubtedly make a difference in their communities, the workplace and, of course, their families.”

For more information on the Corporate Mentor Program, visit ilitchbusiness.wayne.edu/resources/mentors.php.

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