The business leaders of tomorrow need to be mentored today–just ask Frances Murphy (MBA ’97), who is certainly doing her part.
This outstanding alumna, and former director of graduate admissions in the Zicklin School of Business, is an active mentor in Baruch’s Executives on Campus (EOC) program. Now in its 12th year, EOC pairs undergraduate and graduate students with mentors, allowing the students to gain networking, interviewing, and other essential skills. Murphy knows the importance of teaching the next generation and meets with her mentee once a month, sharing her insights on how to excel after college.
“Baruch has a huge alumni network, but it’s hard to realize just how big it is until you get involved in EOC,” Murphy explains. “When the program started, there were maybe 25 student participants and a handful of mentors. Now, we’ve got hundreds of students and mentors, and it’s really phenomenal to think of how many alumni want to give back in such a special way.”
Murphy enjoyed sharing her insight–especially about the value of internships–with her most recent mentee, Eva Law (’16, MS ’17).
“I explained to her that internships are as much about learning what you don’t want to do as learning what you want to do,” Murphy says. “That’s why I enjoy mentoring undergraduate students, since they’re less interested in an immediate job opportunity and more concerned about the choices they still have to make, figuring out what they enjoy and what field they want to pursue.”
Admittedly, Murphy’s own career path was a bit unconventional. After graduating with her MBA from Baruch, she was working for John Hancock and called her alma mater to try and recruit some new employees. To her surprise, though, she was instead offered a job in graduate admissions!
“Baruch had just implemented its full-time MBA program,” she recalls, “and they remembered me from when I was a student. The MBA market itself was changing quite a bit. Baruch was a very different place back then, and we didn’t have the Zicklin name. Applications would always come pouring in like clockwork, but in the changing landscape of higher education, we suddenly found that we had to work harder than ever to establish Baruch as a major name–not only in New York but across the country and throughout the world.”
Since retiring from Baruch in 2012, Murphy has become active in her community and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Village of Cold Spring in Putnam County, N.Y. It’s been a learning experience for Murphy, and she’s enjoyed rolling up her sleeves and helping this quaint town along the Hudson.
“I always say, ‘You can’t complain about things if you’re not willing to get involved and fix them,’” she explains. “I had a lot of fun running for election, which allowed me to meet just about everyone in the whole village. As part of the board’s responsibilities, we work with the state and federal governments to handle contamination issues, repair sidewalks, you name it. It’s been a great experience.”
As for her mentoring, Murphy plans on staying involved with EOC and helping more wonderful students like Eva. And she’s always quick to dispense her biggest piece of advice: stay open to new ideas.
“Be receptive to anything,” Murphy says. “I had no idea back in the ’90s that I’d one day be working for my alma mater, but I didn’t close my mind to that possibility. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and look beyond your own narrow window. Be as broad as you can, because you never know when–or where–a new opportunity will find you.”
If you are interested in sharing your experience and knowledge with Baruch students like Murphy, please consider becoming a mentor. EOC is currently accepting applications through August 30 for its Academic Year-Long Program. For more information on EOC programs and becoming a mentor, please contact the EOC office at firstname.lastname@example.org.