How a mentor helped me value my story

Marcus Mann
MBA candidate

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Marcus Mann came to Ohio State with a unique background. Through the MBA Corporate Mentor Program he found a guide to lead him down the right path.

I noticed early on in the MBA pre-term program that I didn’t have the same experiences as my fellow soon-to-be classmates.

My undergraduate degree was in film studies, and the only finance classes I had taken dealt with production budgets. Although I had worked for three years in a growing technology company in a variety of business roles, my formal education was far afield from the finance pros and business undergrads I was surrounded by in the program.

I needed guidance. I needed someone to help me through the challenges of my nontraditional path. I was thrilled when I was introduced to the MBA Corporate Mentor Program at the end of the pre-term. Here, I would be able to find someone to set me straight.

The Graduate Programs Office at Fisher College of Business sent out its surveys at the end of August to find a good match for each student and mentor. The questionnaire covered basic background information, including intended major of the mentee and desired area of expertise of the mentor. It also allowed me to describe my history and additional information I wanted my mentor to know. I can’t honestly recount what I put in my response, but, I can say it’s up there with the best things I’ve ever written because it led to a connection with Charlotte Click.

Charlotte, who was quick to let me know I should call her “Char,” is the leadership development program manager of Cardinal Health’s EMERGE program, a rotational program designed to offer leadership development across Cardinal’s many departments and locations.

She is also the person who has been most influential to me in my first year as an MBA student. Char is endlessly generous; she is a leader who is organized, respected and admired by those around her. In the several months I have spent as her mentee, Char has taught me as much as any course I have taken. Most importantly, she has taught me to respect my unique background and view it as an asset, not an inconvenience.

I’ve always been proud of the work I’ve done in film, but I’ve viewed it as something separate from the rest of my career. Char showed me that this part of my life was pivotal to my education and to what I can offer to an employer. Coming from Minnesota, I have the Midwest habit of being shy about self-promotion. Char has helped me see past that and understand that the thousands of hours I’ve put into making films and organizing productions over the past decade have value that I should be confident in communicating in all my business endeavors. With her help, I changed my attitude and learned to present myself as a whole and not as two separate parts.

Signing up for the MBA Corporate Mentor Program at Fisher was easily the best decision I have made at Ohio State. The courses are wonderful and challenging, and my classmates are interesting and diverse, but I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate it all without the guidance I have received from Charlotte Click. She is a true leader who has guided me down the path that has been best for me. Now, as prepare for my summer internship, I will look back on the lessons I’ve learned from Char and hope to live up to her example.

If you ever get the opportunity to find a mentor who will take the time to get to know you, don’t hesitate to seize the opportunity. If you don’t, then at least know that you have a story to tell and there are people out there who want to listen.

About the author

Marcus Mann
Marcus Mann -
MBA candidate

Marcus Mann is an MBA candidate at Fisher College of Business. In his nonacademic life, he runs Two Jackets Productions, an award-winning filmmaking and storytelling collaboration based out of Minneapolis.


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