Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) is a network of more than 1,000 alumni who serve as career mentors, working with students one-on-one and speaking at job fairs, networking events, and open houses throughout the university. ASK volunteers share insights and “open doors” for students, in this way contributing significantly to their professional growth and success.
ASK mentor Mitch Goldberg (B.A. ‘96, J.D. ’99) agreed to share his experiences with the program and his reasons for getting involved.
"In an economy like this, connections trump everything else — that’s why ASK is such a fantastic idea.
A student can reach out to any ASK mentor for career advice and networking contacts. In fact, I’d venture to say that 99 percent of all DePaul grads would pick up the phone if a student called.
"I’m working with about 18 mentees — undergrads and recent grads of the MBA program, as well as law students and law graduates. My role is helping them make choices, take steps in their careers, and get connected — and I find that immensely rewarding. I let my mentees decide: how much do they want to interact with me? I’m happy to answer their questions, review their resumes, conduct a mock job interview, or make some introductions.
"As far as I can tell, ASK is light years ahead of similar programs at other schools. The alumni and the university are committed to ASK, and that makes all the difference. I recently hosted a ‘speed networking’ meeting in my office — about 40 people were there, and the mentees had a chance to ive a personal pitch to various professionals, including those in their fields of interest. Probably not surprisingly, my managing partner asked me what was going on. When I explained about ASK, he was so impressed that he’s now approaching his alma mater with the idea.
"I participate in ASK because of my love for DePaul — it’s that simple.
"My years as an undergrad and law student were amazing. Apart from the quality of the people I met, apart from the quality of the education I received, apart from the wealth of activities the school offered to help me develop as a student and as a person, one thing was always clear: DePaul cared.
"At DePaul, I was never a number or a statistic: I was me, and I was valued for being me. I was seen as someone valuable. Through my involvement in ASK and other programs I see that many, many other students and alumni have had the same experience.
"Now, I see my mentees the same way — as valuable people. I never mind putting in the time to get to know them; I participate in the life of a mentee to the extent that he or she wants me to. In some cases, we’ve become friends. The better the connection, the greater my interest in the mentee’s success. Helping mentees comes naturally because that’s what we do for people we like.
"By and large, I think DePaul students and alumni are happy — and I think that’s because of how we define success. I see myself, first and foremost, as obligated to participate in my family, then to do my best work for my firm, and finally to give back to society. My personal self-image is about accomplishing those tasks — not about the car that I drive, the house I live in, or the size of my bank account.
"DePaul shares that same value system. What matters is one’s success as a citizen of our community, of our country, and of the world. That’s the guiding principle behind ASK and that’s what keeps me coming back to DePaul."
Alumni can sign up to volunteer, and students can find a mentor, by visiting the ASK website (ask.depaul.edu).