My desire to “give back” seemed to coincide with my daughter’s enrollment in Drexel’s architecture program several years ago. I’ve always had fond memories of my time at Drexel and still get a warm feeling every time I visit the campus these days, whether it’s cheering on the Dragons basketball teams or enjoying the chicken quesadillas at Landmark. I’m extremely grateful for the valuable experiences I gained in the classroom and on co-op which prepared me well for life after college.
I’ve discovered that the most rewarding aspect of “giving back” to the University has been the opportunity to mentor many impressive LeBow graduate and undergraduate students. I’ve been actively involved in LeBow’s formal mentoring programs since their inception, but I also have the pleasure of mentoring students I have met at various networking events and through teaching a tax course as an adjunct professor over the past few years.
So what does mentoring entail? Mentoring should not have a formal structure or timeline. As students often hear me say, “Once a mentor, always a mentor.” In fact, I continue to meet with and provide support to many mentees who are now proud Drexel alums in the process of “adulting” and finding their way. It is personally rewarding to see them grow and achieve success in their professional careers.
I believe listening and sharing life experiences are the most important things a mentor can offer. I am thrilled to provide guidance to my mentees on such topics as interviewing techniques, resume preparation, co-op selection and career planning. Most importantly, I enjoy introducing my mentees to the appropriate individuals in my network who can convey their experiences and advice. My observation is that this generation of students clearly understands the value of networking and its importance in achieving one’s goals in a competitive world.
Mentors are always happy to write recommendation letters and serve as a professional reference for their mentees. Above all, the best thing about being a mentor is forming strong bonds with students and connecting with them on a personal level. I would highly recommend to my fellow alumni that they join me as a mentor – it is an experience that you will find extremely satisfying!
Jonathan Liss ‘79
Managing Director, State and Local Tax, BDO USA, LLC
Jonathan received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from LeBow in 1979 and holds an masters degree in taxation from Temple University. He serves as an adjunct in LeBow’s Accounting Department teaching taxation. He has more than 30 years experience in state and local tax in Philadelphia.