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Carroll School of Management

Shea Center launches CampusTap to link students and mentors

Online mentoring platform is coming this semester

CampusTap_Newsletter

Imagine if there were a website that made finding a mentor as easy as Facebook makes connecting with friends.

Aspiring student entrepreneurs at Boston College don’t have to dream. Thanks to the Shea Center for Entrepreneurship, that website exists: it’s the center’s new online mentorship platform, CampusTap.

BC students seeking mentors can register there, letting potential mentors know what sort of advice they need. BC alums can register, too, telling students their backgrounds and their capacity for helping out.

“Think of it as a slimmed-down version of LinkedIn,” said Jere Doyle, Shea’s executive director. “Alums can make themselves available to students via e-mail, phone, or a face-to-face meeting. It’s whatever the alum wants to do.”

Doyle said Shea created the platform to facilitate match-making between students and mentors. Before CampusTap, students seeking mentors could either meet alumni entrepreneurs at on-campus events or they could scour the web for contact information and make a cold call or send a cold e-mail. That limited the number of mentorships that formed. Not every alum can come on campus, and not every student is brave enough to make a cold call.

CampusTap doesn’t just serve as a clearinghouse, Doyle said. It also lets the Shea Center chaperone the relationships between students and alumni. “It lets us set the right expectations,” he said. “Both the student and the mentor understand our rules of engagement.”

Admission to the platform isn’t automatic, said Kelsey Kinton, Shea’s assistant director. The center will vet everyone who registers to validate their BC connection.

Kinton said Shea has already begun inviting, via e-mail, students and alums who’ve been involved with the Shea Center to register on the platform, which should be fully functioning by spring break. “It’ll also have a job board, so alums can say whether they’re looking for interns,” she said.

Ben Li ’19 managed to find a BC mentor the old-fashioned way: he’d show up at Shea Center events and introduce himself to alums. Shea holds regular Lunch with an Entrepreneur sessions, and at one of those, he met Joe Matarese, founder and CEO of Medicus Healthcare Solutions in Windham, N.H. He and Matarese ’90 connected again at a subsequent event. Matarese ended up inviting Li, who’s co-concentrating in accounting and information systems in CSOM, to intern at Medicus last summer in the finance department.

Li is also starting a company called Venu Entertainment with Dan Marino ’19. They’re creating an app that helps performing artists build up their fan bases.

“Joe gave us advice on that too,” Li said. “Most guys like us aren’t going to have that kind of access to a successful entrepreneur. When you start your job, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to just walk in and chat with the CEO.”   

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