Student and Her Mentor to Graduate Together

Above, Kelly Tiller ’14 records a testimonial about the Women International mentorship program on Feb. 11, 2014. Photos by Kristen Jarcho

MBA student Kelly Tiller ’14 had an ally during her summer 2013 internship at Johnson & Johnson in Pennsylvania. When she needed guidance during the first week, she sent an emergency text to Executive MBA student Jacquelyn Tallarico ’14, a neurosurgical specialist at Johnson & Johnson in Arizona. “She called me back immediately, and we talked for an hour,” Tiller said. “It changed the whole trajectory of my summer, which ended with a full-time job offer.”

Tallarico is one of 27 volunteers matched with Thunderbird students through a mentorship program that Tiller manages for campus club Women International. Unlike other mentors in the program, Tallarico is a Thunderbird student herself — although farther along in her career. Participants in the Executive MBA program, which caters to working professionals, come to Thunderbird with an average of 14 years of work experience. Tallarico and Tiller will graduate together on May 9, 2014, and then continue working for Johnson & Johnson.

Women International club president Charity Wright ’14 said the mentorship program empowers women by connecting them and building support networks. “When women figure out how to communicate with one another, they will be unstoppable,” Wright said.

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