Mentoring services lead to impactful relationship for recent Doane grad
Iron sharpens iron.
That’s one way Ryan Bauer ’18A, a recent graduate of Doane’s Master of Arts in Management program, describes the relationship he’s developed with Carl Manello, Vice President of Information Technology at Ameritas Insurance. Bauer and Manello were matched through Doane’s mentoring services offered to its College of Professional Studies students and recent graduates.
Bauer is a supervisor in a call center at Nelnet, a financial services company headquartered in Lincoln. He would like to transition into a larger management role in the near future and wanted to connect with someone outside the industry to pick their brain about what he can do to strengthen his leadership skills and best position himself for a long career in management.
Manello is relatively new to Lincoln and had approached Doane about offering his time to occasionally meet with a student or graduate, to serve as a mentor. Susan Rocker, Director of Career Development for the College to Professional Studies, met with Manello to learn more about his background and then sent a notice to students about this new mentor, inviting students to apply for the opportunity to be mentored by him. Bauer’s application to meet with Manello was very detailed and well thought-out, showing a commitment to growth. Manello thought the two would make for a great match, and they have since met multiple times over the past two months.
Rocker leaves the mentoring schedule up to the mentor and mentee, but says a typical mentoring relationship lasts 10-12 weeks. After that, it’s up to the discretion of the two individuals how they would like to continue to connect moving forward.
“I came in with some defined objectives and he (Manello) has been great at pointing me in the right direction,” Bauer said. “We spent some time getting to know each other and our core values. He has been setting me up with some people to help identify some career paths that I’ve been considering and create paths to help me go down those lines.”
“The mentoring relationship has been awesome so far,” Manello said. “When you find someone who has similar alignments as you, it can be encouraging. There have been things I’ve taken out of this relationship that have benefited me too.”
Manello is an experienced executive who has over 30 years of line management, program management, and operational experience in manufacturing, insurance, retail, healthcare, and nonprofit industries. Manello received his bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and his master's degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Manello and Bauer have had discussions about leadership and management skills, picking each other’s brains about how they can use some of their insight to benefit them at their respective companies. One thing Bauer and Manello have in common is that they consider themselves leaders at the core - something that can be transparent across a number of different fields.
“What I consider my value-add to an organization is getting a group of people to work together behind a common goal,” Bauer said.
The mentoring Bauer has gotten through his relationship with Manello, in addition to his current management experience at Nelnet and the knowledge and experiences obtained from the Master of Arts in Management program at Doane, all lead to a bright future for him.
“I had a positive experience at Doane, gained a lot out of it,” he said. “When you’re going to school the same time you’re working, you’re able to pick out useful information and translate it into your work immediately. There have been a lot of things that I’ve picked out and implemented into my work right away. I’m definitely better off for having gone to Doane.”
Career services have long been offered to traditional undergraduate students on the Crete campus, as the Career Development Center was first introduced in 1974. The College to Career Center was later formed and houses full-time staff members devoted to career services. Doane extended career services offerings to its College of Professional Studies students in 2011, and mentoring services followed in 2014.
As Director of Career Development for the Lincoln, Grand Island, Omaha, and online campuses of Doane University, Rocker supports students and alumni with career-related initiatives such as identifying their career path, developing their networking skills, creating strategic career development plans to guide their job search, designing resumes, and preparing for interviews. She also assists area employers with their recruiting needs and offers a variety of services including internships, on-campus recruiting, on-campus interviews, and online job postings.
Rocker says there are a number of benefits to a student developing a mentoring relationship with a professional in the area, and that the response she has seen from those to go through a mentoring relationship have been very positive.
“I’m amazed at how alumni and other professionals are not only willing, but very excited to carve out time to support and grow others,” she said. “It’s a testament to the goodness of humanity. I find many students are very interested in being mentored, but at the same time, some of them struggle with finding time to fit one more thing into an already hectic schedule.
“For those that go through a mentoring relationship, some of the benefits might include new insights about a particular career path, understanding how and why to develop a sustained network of relationships in your career, and sometimes it’s just finding a new opportunity.”
For more information on the career services offered to Doane’s College of Professional Studies students and alumni, visit here.