For Jorge Suarez (ENG‘20) and Denise Schier (ENG’81), the practice of engineering is more than a career; it is a passion! As a member of the BU Alumni Council, Denise wanted to extend her expertise to mentoring students following a similar career path as her own. Jorge was a rising senior looking for practical advice when navigating the challenges of choosing a job opportunity.

They turned to the College of Engineering’s mentoring program through BU Connects and found more than just a fellow Terrier.

Since their mentoring relationship began during Covid-19, the two navigated their conversations virtually over zoom. They remember their initial experiences with BU Connects and virtually meeting one another.

Denise mentions, “I have reached a point in my career where I want to give back to the organizations, the people, and the institution which helped me build a successful career. And BU, particularly, is at the very top of that list. When I heard through the Alumni Council that there was going to be a mentoring opportunity, I thought about it and said, ‘Wow, this is great, I want to give back!’”

Jorge notes, “It was my final year, and I was looking to get some guidance because it was quite the scary time, I guess you could call it… but I didn’t really have anyone to bounce ideas off of and to give me ideas of their own based on their career path.”

He adds, “I have a lot of people in my life I could talk to, but never somebody called a mentor. I think carrying that title is important because it differentiates between just somebody I go to for advice and my mentor.”

By taking a conversational approach and incorporating discussion suggestions provided by the College of Engineering, the two were able to face Jorge’s challenges with school and career pursuits while also maintaining structure each week. Denise helped Jorge navigate interviews, approach the job search, and ultimately decide which job offer to choose.

As parting words of advice, Denise says, “There are so many alumni on BU Connects who have said they want to help and mentor… All you have to do is look for someone who has the right background.” Jorge adds, “I would say don’t be afraid… Be open and willing to learn.”

Their relationship transitioned into a budding friendship and the two were finally able to meet in person for the first time during Alumni Weekend 2021. They sat together during the BU Symphony Orchestra performance, and as they listened to the harmonious music, they realized the power of networking and the lasting bond of mentorship.

“As Jorge said, BU Connects was the starting point, but we were communicating by phone and email, and after he graduated… But we both thought it could be very beneficial for us to continue, not necessarily every week, but when something big comes up in his career or just when he wants to communicate. The door is always open!” Denise says.

Have you made a meaningful connection through BU Connects? Share your story with us!