Plug into the Spears Network
Ways to Connect
COWBOY CONVERSATIONS are designed for students to further explore their career path through quick conversations with OSU alumni and friends at any time.
MENTOR MATCH is more of a deep dive into one-on-one mentorships lasting a semester. Students on the testing path may expand their career knowledge while building connections in their desired industry. This program asks that students and mentors meet a minimum of three times and attend a networking event during the semester.
Frequently asked questions
- What is the Spears Network?
The Spears Network is a cloud-based “hub” or software created by PeopleGrove that allows OSU Spears School of Business students, alumni and friends to connect and take part in general networking and specific mentoring programs. Student users can network with professionals to gain more information regarding their career, professional skills and other professional development topics. The Spears Network also serves as the hub for where our Mentor Match program takes place.
- Who can join the Spears Network?
Current students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the OSU Spears School of Business can join the Spears Network hub. Those who opt to “Join the Community” or “Join a Program” on the Spears Network site will be asked a series of questions to build their profile. Profiles can be public or private and edited at any time by the individual.
- Does it take a lot of time to build a profile, and when will I be able to join?
The profile-building process can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes depending on the amount of detail someone may want to include. To assist in the process, those new to the community can build their profiles by signing in with their LinkedIn account, which eliminates having to fill out many of the initial questions about current and past work and educational history.
- Can I join Spears Network for the networking aspect but not choose to be part of a
Yes, there are two main parts to Spears Network: networking and mentoring. By initially joining Spears Network, networking is available to those with an approved profile. Visitors can “Join the Community” where their profile will be reviewed. Once approved to be part of Spears Network, networking among others in the site (found in the Connect - Community tab) is open to all in the system. Student profiles cannot be seen by other students, alumni, friends, faculty or staff for privacy purposes; however, professional profiles for faculty, staff, alumni and friends can be seen by students and all other professionals within the site if they choose to make their profile “public.”
- How can alumni and friends of the university utilize Spears Network?
Spears Network provides a direct connection to OSU Spears School of Business faculty, staff, alumni, friends and students. Alumni and friends will be able to connect with one another, faculty at Spears and students they have been paired with to mentor. If an alumni or friend in the system has a public profile, students can view their profile and contact them based on the preferences the alumni or friend set for connecting with others.
- How can faculty and staff utilize Spears Network?
Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to visit the Spears Network page and join as a general user. They do not have to join any specific mentoring program unless they desire to serve as a mentor. The networking within the system provides a direct link to public alumni, friend and faculty profiles without having to join a specific mentoring program. Alumni and friends can indicate their experience and expertise. This allows for added networking and connectivity among faculty, staff, alumni and friends.
- How can students utilize Spears Network?
Students will be able to see public profiles of mentors, alumni, friends, faculty and staff in the Spears Network portion of the site. You can join the Mentor Match program to be connected with a mentor one on one for the semester. An additional asset to this software is connecting with other professionals, faculty or staff that are NOT their assigned mentor but are willing to share expertise in one-time conversation settings with a student in the network.
- Mentor Match – Why participate?
As a mentee you will gain professional resources to expand your knowledge and skills, gain valuable advice and build and expand your professional network. Your mentor is an advocate who will encourage you and can teach you about career options and possibilities.
As a mentor it can be a fun and rewarding experience. You have the opportunity to advise, influence and support students on their university and career journey.
- Mentor Match – Who is eligible to join?
Mentees – all current students in the Spears School of Business or Watson Graduate School of Management.
Mentors – individuals with professional experience and a willingness to help current students develop skills and achieve goals.
- Mentor Match - How will I be paired with a mentee or mentor?
The mentor and mentee will each be asked to complete a few registration questions via the Spears Network hub with professional and personal information. The pairings will be made based on academic area and field of study, as well as commonalities and similar goals for the mentoring relationship.
- Mentor Match - How long will the mentoring relationship last?
The expectation is that you meet a minimum of three times during the semester via video call, phone call or in person, plus attend one networking event. Our hope is that the relationship will evolve into more conversations and the mentee and mentor will continue to stay connected thereafter.
- Mentor Match - What types of discussions should I have with my mentor or mentee?
The purpose of the mentor match is for a more experienced professional to offer advice to a student. There are many helpful topics for discussion related to academics, career exploration, professional work environments, resume and cover letter prep and preparing for entering the job market, to name a few.