Path to the Park

The Research Park Path to the Park Mentorship Program aims to create a diverse community of students and Research Park professionals that are looking to break the barriers of entry for underrepresented students seeking employment with Research Park companies. Participants will help “close the gap” by increasing the amount of minority professionals working in the technology industry through the power of mentorship and networking.

If you are seeking full-time employment at the Research Park please see the job board. If you are interested in gaining additional data science knowledge please see IL Reboot

Learn More About Where You Fit:

Mission Statement​

Integrating underrepresented freshmen and sophomores into the Research Park by creating a safe place for diverse students to manifest sustainable professional relationships.

Student Mentors

Your Role

  • Shares their knowledge about Research Park companies
  • Interested in giving back to the Research Park and campus by enhancing the College experience for their mentee
  • Helps mentees create career goals and milestones to reach them

Benefits of Being a Student Mentor

  • Builds community within the Research Park
  • Provides the opportunity & confidence to expand your professional network
  • Gain leadership and management experience​ while in college
  • Give back to the Research Park community and share personal experiences with others

Mentors

Fall 2021 Mentors

Drshika Asher headshot

Name: Drshika Asher
Role: Front-End Developer Intern at Enterprise Works
Motivation to be a student mentor: Being a student mentor helps me empower other women in STEM just as my mentors have in the past.
Fun Fact: I know how to speak 4 languages: English, Spanish, Kutchi and Hindi!

Path to the Park 12 Path to the Park

Name: Marisa Osowski
Role: Communications and Social Media Intern at Enterprise Works
Motivation to be a student mentor: I’ve received immense support from my older friends and family members throughout my college experience. I want to be a resource for another student like my friends and family were for me.
Fun Fact: My favorite sport to watch is baseball. I'm a Saint Louis Cardinals fan.

Path to the Park 13 Path to the Park

Name: Andy Garcia
Role: Communications and Social Media Intern at Enterprise Works
Motivation to be a student mentor: I have a deep passion for serving others, so when I heard about the Path to the Park mentorship program I felt compelled to join
Fun Fact: I have a podcast called The Dream Stream where we interpret dreams.

Path to the Park 14 Path to the Park

Name: Ti'Andrea Jones
Role: Graphics Intern at Enterprise Works
Motivation to be a student mentor: I have a passion for helping others and want to act as a support system for my peers. I also want to introduce others to opportunities that will help them grow as professionals.
Fun Fact: My favorite video game is Stardew Valley

Path to the Park 15 Path to the Park

Name: Ade Awolola
Role: HR Intern at EnterpriseWorks
Motivation to be a student mentor: I want to be the bridge between the resources on campus and the students. I want to help provide as many resources as possible to help the undergraduates find their way around campus and make them feel welcomed on campus.
Fun Fact: I bartend, Dj, and host events for fun.


Path to the Park 16 Path to the Park

Name: Sophie Zucchero
Role: Communications and Social Media at EnterpriseWorks
Motivation to be a student mentor: I am passionate about creating a safe and welcoming space for underrepresented communities in professional settings.
Fun Fact: I love crossword puzzles!

Path to the Park 17 Path to the Park

Name: Nikki Yap
Role: Lab Manager at EnterpriseWorks
Motivation to be a student mentor: I have a multitude of amazing experiences as both a mentee and a mentor. It would be extremely fulfilling to see another person succeed in the research world!
Fun Fact: I'm the President of Illini World Taekwondo next year! Also, keep an eye out for my singing YouTube channel coming soon~

Path to the Park 18 Path to the Park

Name: Praky Jain
Role: Data & Salesforce Intern at EnterpriseWorks
Motivation to be a student mentor: I want to share and help international and unprecedented culture's students to blend in this amazing university.
Fun Fact: I have 6 beautiful dogs back home. Less humans more doggos!

Spring 2021 Mentors

Path to the Park 19 Path to the Park

Name: Yosra Abdulwahid
Role: Special Projects at Enterprise Works
Motivation to be a student mentor: I want to help mentees navigate all things college and career, especially since this can sometimes be a stressful process for first-generation college and/or minority students.
Fun Fact: Apart from my work at the Research Park, I'm an Innovation Engineer & Technology Consultant for the Disruption Lab and a member of Kappa Alpha Pi Professional Pre-Law Fraternity.
Where they are now

Path to the Park 20 Path to the Park

Name: Austin Parish
Role: Lab Manager at Enterprise Works
Motivation to be a student mentor: I wanted to be a part of this program because I think it is important to help others reach new heights at all stages of life, even if I am currently climbing the same mountain. I think I can be a good sounding board for a mentee to help get their ideas into actionable items and help them advance their career.
Fun Fact: I am a part of Beta Psi Omega Professional Biology Fraternity and the National Society of Pershing Rifles. 
Where they are now

Path to the Park 21 Path to the Park

Name: Prit Delada
Role: Enterprise Research Intern at the State Farm RDC
Motivation to be a student mentor: The reason why I decided to become a mentor with the Pathway to Park program is that I know how important a guiding force can be when trying to develop not just experience and skills but also interest in the career you want to pursue. I didn't have that guiding force when I started, and I hope a program like this changes that for the students to come. ​
Fun Fact:I am a co-founder of Pathway Digital, a business where we help clients with digital advertising and client marketing. ​
Where they are now

Path to the Park 22 Path to the Park

Name: Rishi Choudhary
Role: Software Engineering Intern at AARP
Motivation to be a student mentor: I am very grateful for all the tips and guidance I received from some of my upperclassmen friends when I was a freshman and being a mentor for the Path to the Park program gives me the perfect opportunity to give back.
Fun Fact: I am a huge fan of dark chocolate and black coffee!
Where they are now

Corporate Partners

Your Role

  • Donate 30 minutes of your time once a semester to meet with a mentee
  • Offer career advice and answer questions about the industry
  • Available to review resumes, perform in mock interviews and/or participate in informational interviews during scheduled meeting
  • Must Have available internship opportunities with your company for Path to the Park student graduates

Benefits of Being a Corporate Partner

  • Connect with qualified diverse student talent
  • Increase visibility and branding on campus
  • Improve pipeline for diverse student talent to future Research Park job opportunities
Path to the Park 23 Path to the Park

Student Mentees

Your Role

  • Interested in kick-starting your professional development
  • Eager to learn about the Research Park
  • Accepting of feedback 
  • Willing to learn new skills

Benefits of Being a Mentee

  • Enhance soft skills, interview prep and marketability on LinkedIn
  • Participate in resume reviews, mock interviews, goal setting and more
  • Opportunity to network with entrepreneurs, and Research Park companies 

Get Involved!

Student Mentors – Deadline 7/15/2021

Students Mentees – Deadline 9/17/2021

Corporate Partners

Program Coordinator

Sarah Shewan

Sarah Shewan

Accounting Associate at EnterpriseWorks | Bio

Testimonials

See how mentors and mentees benefitted from their experiences with Path to the Park on the Research Park Youtube Channel 

“Well, I say it has helped me improve on a few aspects, especially looking via a mentorship role. That’s something I wanted to be for someone and still want to be in the future whether it be purely technical and professional or personal. This program gave me such a good idea of how I can perhaps approach my mentorship or even improve upon it.”
Path to the Park 24 Path to the Park
Prit
Spring 2021 Student Mentor
“I had an absolutely incredible time volunteering as a mentor for the Research Path to the Park program. On top of having the opportunity to give back to an incredibly motivated underclassman, I had the opportunity to develop professionally. The program allowed me to really reflect on all of the experiences I had at college while helping my mentee. Working one on one with Mia showed to me that I really liked that aspect of relationship building.”
Path to the Park 25 Path to the Park
Austin
Spring 2021 Student Mentor
“The experiences I’ve gained through the Path to the Park Program have taught me that allyship is more than speaking against injustices- it's recognizing we each have unique lived experiences and using these experiences to cultivate more meaningful relationships. Being a student mentor allowed me to see the positive impact I can make in a student’s life while also allowing me to improve my professional development skills. In addition, it’s great to be a part of a growing and supportive community of diverse Research Park professionals who want to give students opportunities and see them succeed.”
Path to the Park 26 Path to the Park
Yosra
Spring 2021 Student Mentor
“So far during my time with the UIRP Path to the Park program, I have noticed significant improvements in how I present myself professionally. I have found it beneficial to have someone critique my LinkedIn and resume, especially when they have valuable insight to offer from their own experiences. Thanks to my mentor and this program, I have also gained useful interview skills and learned how to better approach interviews.”
Path to the Park 27 Path to the Park
Jeanette
Spring 2021 Student Mentee