Senior Leadership Academy Update
The Senior Leadership Academy (SLA) is a unique program offered by the Leavey School of Business that provides undergraduate business seniors the opportunity at in-depth exploration of a leadership topic relevant to postgraduate life. This year’s program examines personal and professional leadership through times of change with the theme: “Leadership During Transition and Uncertainty”.
The program pairs each senior with an alumni mentor who provides one-on-one mentorship and support to discuss topics like personal and professional development, career exploration, work-life balance, and navigating financial planning while transitioning from a student to a working professional.
On January 11th, seventeen Academy participants networked with mentors who have experience at Bloomberg, Google, KPMG, MongoDB, Sequoia Capital, Roku, PayPal, and other companies.
One of SLA’s mentors is Justin Wong, a 2011 graduate, who is a Finance Manager at PayPal. We interviewed Justin to learn about his perspective as a SCU alumni and former SLA participant.
How has your participation in SLA helped you in your professional life?
JW: SLA has had such a positive impact on my professional life. The theme of SLA when I was a participant was “Work-Life Balance and the Transition to the World of Work”. It was an awesome opportunity where I was fortunate enough to have dinners with Silicon Valley executives and I met young alumni. I learned about their experiences, transitions, and even the not so positive moments in their careers. Being involved in SLA has not only prepared me for the professional world, but also encouraged me to be a mentor and give back to a program that had a positive impact on my career.
What advice can you offer to ease the transition from college to becoming a working professional?
JW: Some advice that I've learned throughout my career include the following:
- Network, network, network! Silicon Valley is smaller than you think and everyone is connected.
- It's okay to ask questions.
- Find a mentor outside of your team.
- Connect and befriend other new grads within the company.
What is your favorite memory from SCU or SLA?
JW: It's hard to pick just one! Having the opportunity to play on the men's tennis team, be an assistant coach on the women's tennis team, and being able to study abroad through SCU’s London program were some of my favorite memories.