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Darla Moore School of Business

  • Image of Scott Blackmon, Tyler Southard, Susan Cotter and Grace Weismantel

    From left: Scott Blackmon, Tyler Southard, Susan Cotter and Grace Weismantel

Make me a match

Alumni and student Mentor Program mutually beneficial

The Moore School's student Mentor Program connects alumni with current students to provide regular guided conversations around various career topics or goals. 

The next mentor program match will be in spring 2024. More information coming soon. Here is a Q&A with two pairs of mentors and mentees who were connected during the spring 2022 program.

(SC) Susan Cotter, mentor, ‘92 USC international studies and Spanish, currently serves on the USC-Business Partnership Foundation Board of Advisors

(GW) Grace Weismantel, ’25 expected graduation economics

(SB) Scott Blackmon, mentor, ‘73 management, currently serves on the USC-Business Partnership Foundation Board of Advisors, previous Moore School Distinguished Alumnus Awardee

(TS) Tyler Southard, ’23 finance


SC: I learned about the Mentor Program through my service on the USC-Business Partnership Foundation Board of Advisors. As an advisor, my role is ultimately to support Moore School students. Mentoring is a very direct and individualized way to do that.

GW: I wanted to interact with people who have had hands-on experience within the careers that I was interested in. While I am fascinated by the work that is completed in the classroom, I knew that the Mentor Match program would offer a different perspective on what it would mean to be a part of certain industries, like marketing and supply chain. 

SB: I have been involved in the mentoring program for 20 years. I have been very fortunate to mentor many wonderful students at the Moore School. 

TS: During and after COVID-19, it was hard for me to network being isolated for so long, especially since the only people I was in contact with were those around my age. Not only that, but I also felt as if I was a little lost on where to start when it came to finding a career path.


SC: Hands down, the relationships I have with my mentees. We’ve continued to stay in touch beyond the timeframe of the program. I can’t wait to see the impact they will make on the world!

GW: The best part was going with Susan to the Anne Frank Center. If it was not for Susan, I never would have made my way to that building or have learned all that I did about Anne Frank. I also enjoyed that trip; Susan invited me because she had taken the time to get to know me well enough to know I would find it interesting. 

SB: The best part has been being able to share my experiences as a banker for nearly 40 years, as well as my experiences in serving our business community. I have also been able to follow my mentees’ careers after graduation. 

TS: The best part of this experience was the relationship that was built between Scott and me. I am comfortable going to him for any questions or advice regarding my career that I might have in the future. That is something that I did not have before starting this program. 


SC: I learn as much as I give. I have had the pleasure of mentoring two students, both of whom are bright, energetic and full of potential. We discuss specific topics to help them optimize their Moore School experience. We also have broader conversations about philosophical views, life experiences and aspirations for the future — which give me optimism that society will be in good and capable hands.

GW: It has been wonderful! The questions in the application really made me feel confident about the mentor that I would be matched with, and I knew that the Moore School had my best interests at heart when pairing me with Susan. The Mentor Program really highlights one of the biggest benefits of the Moore School: the faculty care about us and want us to become the best versions of ourselves by learning from others. 

SB: The program is amazing. The students my wife and I have met are professional, hardworking and dedicated. I have learned as much from them as they have from me.

TS: Scott and I met weekly, whether it was at lunch, a phone call or attending baseball games. I even attended a Moore School alumni meeting. Through these meetings, we talked about the pathways in finance that I would like to pursue, how to network for them and what those careers could look like. He also introduced me to multiple individuals in different careers that may interest me. Aside from that, we had great conversations with each other, and he even arranged a tour of the baseball facilities during one game. Scott and I developed a great relationship; we keep in touch today and plan to in the future. 


SC: Many, many people have helped me along the way in my career. It is a privilege, in turn, to do my part to support the next generation of business leaders.

GW: You get out what you put into it. Placing time and effort into these meetings has created a foundation for the wonderful relationship that I have with Susan. Although the program has ended, I continue to see Susan because I enjoy hearing about her life, and I know she enjoys hearing about mine. She is one of the best parts of my university experience, and I owe it to the Mentor Program.

SB: The program gives the students insight into career possibilities in addition to getting to know a businessperson, not a family member or professor. There is such incredible talent at the Moore School, and the program gives those students with that talent a chance to learn from mentors’ real-life experiences. 

TS: Something that every student should know about the mentorship program is that it is never too late to join. I was a second-semester junior when I began this program, which seemed to me like I was one of the older participants, but I would be nowhere near as prepared for the start of my career without it. 

If you're interested in participating in the Mentor Program, please contact Corey Mikels.

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