Posted January 2023

In support of National Mentoring Month, we’re shining a spotlight on amazing Terrier mentoring stories. If you want to mentor a Terrier, volunteer on BU Connects!

As a young alum with an intense job as a software engineer at Amazon Robotics, Ashley Reischman (ENG’17) could have easily thought, “Maybe another time,” after reading the email she’d received last Fall from the College of Engineering. ENG was looking for alumni to become mentors to current students, and something about the opportunity struck a chord with Ashley, who’d been thinking about ways to volunteer her time to a good cause. “I wanted to try mentoring,” she says, “as I have been fortunate to have some great mentors throughout my career and wanted to pay it forward.”

After graduating in 2017 with a major in mechanical engineering, Ashley had a stressful, jobless summer, but she credits her Terrier experience for helping her navigate difficult days throughout her career. “BU taught me how to work hard and keep working hard even when things don’t go your way,” Ashley says. It was ultimately working through these feelings of apprehension and self-doubt that inspired her to pass along what she’s learned to students in need. She wanted to “teach my mentee that those types of thoughts only lead to more anxiety, and those thoughts are completely within your control.”

Once Ashley signed up to be a mentor on BU Connects, ENG matched her with grad student Jordan Koseski (ENG’24). Jordan was seeking a mentor who could help him best apply his academic skills in the pursuit of a career, and their shared professional interests in robotics and software development made it a great fit. Meeting virtually about once per month, Jordan and Ashley had wide-ranging conversations that could go deeper than typical talks between a student and a professor or career advisor. In addition to receiving advice on internships or how to best market himself for job interviews, Jordan felt a boost of confidence from his sessions with Ashley. “Having a mentor who is both knowledgeable regarding and active in the industry has helped assuage some of my nerves for entering the workforce,” Jordan says.

As a career-focused graduate student, Jordan recommends the mentoring experience because it provides professional connections and invaluable wisdom, especially from a young professional like Ashley. “As someone who was in my same position relatively recently,” Jordan says, “she has been able to provide many specific pieces of advice that directly relate to where I am in my career.” And for Ashley, helping Jordan reach his full potential has been a gratifying experience. “Any time I’m able to do that,” she says, “it helps me feel like I’m not taking the mentorship I’ve received for granted; that I’m passing what my mentors gave to me on to someone else.”

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