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“It’s such a competitive marketplace right now, and one of the great things about Kellogg is the incredible network that we have,” said Jose Carbonell ’02, vice president of preschool brand marketing at Nickelodeon. “To not take advantage of it is a missed opportunity.”

KAMP

Having someone in your KAMP

Students receive invaluable career advice and guidance through the Kellogg Alumni Mentorship Program

By Sara Langen

1/13/2012 - When Jose Carbonell ’02 opened an email from Kellogg last year asking if he wanted to mentor current Kellogg students, it struck a chord.

Jose Carbonell
Jose Carbonell ’02, vice president of preschool brand marketing, Nickelodeon
“Throughout my career, I’ve been really lucky to have people who’ve given me advice,” said Carbonell, vice president of preschool brand marketing at Nickelodeon. “I saw the email and it was one of those simple moments when I thought, ‘Wow, people have been helping me for so long. Here’s an opportunity for me to give back.’”

Carbonell was paired with Marissa Heller ’12 through the Kellogg Alumni Mentorship Program, which allows students to develop meaningful mentor relationships with Kellogg alumni. The pairings are based on four criteria:
  • Job function
  • Industry
  • Location
  • Years of post-Kellogg experience

The relationships allow for private, candid dialogue that can be crucial for interview prep and career development, said Heller, who chairs the KAMP student committee.

Marissa Heller
Kellogg student Marissa Heller ’12
“[My mentor] helped me figure out the types of questions I should be asking during interviews,” she said. “Often in school, we identify the important elements of a job, but how you actually get the answers is not necessarily intuitive. When you’re talking about culture and fit, you can’t really ask these things directly. He was able to give me specific questions I could ask to get to those answers.”

Having someone within the industry show you the ropes is invaluable, Heller said. She and Carbonell discussed her career goals and what she was looking for in a job. They discussed the companies she was considering and conducted mock interviews to help her prepare, with her mentor pointing out that she didn’t always let her personality come through in a formal setting. Such dialogue was only possible because of the trust she and Carbonell had built.

More than 440 Kellogg students will be paired with alumni mentors this year. Carbonell noted that certain traits are crucial to ensuring those relationships are successful:

  • Being honest
  • Having good communication skills
  • Being open to hearing advice
But in order to get there, students must sign up, he advised.

“It’s such a competitive marketplace right now, and one of the great things about Kellogg is the incredible network that we have,” he said. “To not take advantage of it is a missed opportunity.”