Tiger Ties, one of the most successful mentoring programs at Clemson University, will become part of TigerLink, a new, campus-wide technology platform that will corral mentoring programs on campus.

Leah Hughes, the business school’s assistant director for career and professional development, said a group of campus entities have been meeting for 18 months to create a hub that would house all mentoring programs into one technology platform, yet allow each program to function independently. TigerLink will go live in the fall semester.

“Tiger Ties is a long-standing College of Business mentoring program that is recognized as one of the best of its kind on campus,” said Hughes. “We look forward to becoming part of a campus-wide network, yet retain the qualities that have provided our mentors and mentees with an enriching experience over the years.”

Tiger Ties was established in 2008 to provide business majors with real-world connections by pairing them with successful Clemson business alums. Today, the mentoring program is the largest on campus with more than 600 participants.

“In creating the new technology platform, the Tiger Ties mentoring model was among those reviewed in developing the new technology platform,” Hughes said. “The tentative plan is for TigerLink to be launched to all students in the fall after all the mentoring programs update their information and switch to the new platform.”

Hughes was joined by Debbie Cremer of Alumni Career Services and Neil Burton and Dave Sargent of the Center for Career and Professional Development in leading the effort to establish TigerLink. A team of about 15 campus partners examined other programs, including Tiger Ties’ best practices, its program goals and how mentor-mentee matches are made.

“The team looked at Tiger Ties to see how its attributes could benefit the new platform and other mentoring groups around campus,” Hughes said. “There’s plenty of work ahead of us, but in the end it will be well worth the effort to be part of this groundbreaking campus-wide initiative.”

Already, about a dozen campus mentoring programs are connected to TigerLink, including the existing MBA program. They represent a cross-section of educational disciplines, including the sciences, arts, architecture and humanities and health studies, to name a few. The mentoring programs are peer to peer, alumni to student and alumni to alumni. A universal benefit of TigerLink will allow for “flash” mentoring where an alum with a limited time commitment can answer questions online.

Hughes said little about Tiger Ties will change. It will essentially operate as it does on the current technology platform. But the business program will get a fresh database as participants’ information will be updated before loading it onto the new system.

“There’s a lot of discussion around campus about breaking down silos and this is a good example of it,” Hughes said. “We came together to build a platform that every mentoring program would benefit from, and the College of Business takes great pride in contributing to improving student enrichment across all academic disciplines.”

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