A Mentoring Success Story

Alumni and students connect via the Maroon and Gold Network.


In March, the Alumni Association launched the Maroon and Gold Network, an online career and networking platform where alumni can offer career-related advice to current students and fellow U graduates. Already, the network has drawn more than 1,500 participants.

They include Randall Mendenhall—who earned a bachelor of science in business, with a major in marketing, from the Carlson School in 2007—and Michael Messner, a student in the College of Education and Human Development majoring in business and marketing education.

“One of the best parts of the network is that it’s focused on the University of Minnesota community,” says Mendenhall (pictured right). “This common background provides an excellent starting point for individuals looking to network and is especially helpful for current students, as they can confidently reach out to professionals who share the University experience.”

Messner agrees. “I chose to use this network because I wanted to meet professionals who shared common experiences and worked through similar problems as students,” he says.

“Michael reached out to me for the initial meeting, which is always a great sign for a student, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him,” says Mendenhall. “After our first informational interview together, we met up again and conducted a resume review.  He is also planning to attend several industry association meetings with me in the near future to continue to expand his network and develop his business acumen.”

Messner says he has “made more than just a connection, as Randall has continued to meet and mentor me past our initial meeting. I have gained invaluable advice on how to set myself apart in a competitive field and how to continue developing my network. I will continue to lean on him for advice.”

For more information, visit: UMNAlumni.org/maroonandgold


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