Michelle Johnston was named in Gambit Weekly’s “40 under 40” Best of New Orleans list. She was recognized for developing Loyola’s Executive Mentoring Program to help retain students enrolled in the College of Business. Johnston told Gambit she hopes the program will have the long-term effect of keeping young professionals in the city after they graduate.
“We were just trying to be innovative and find something that would interest the students,” Johnston said. “We wanted a link to show there are a lot of good opportunities in New Orleans. We're also trying to stop the brain drain.”
Johnston started the mentoring program five years ago, which is a requirement for all freshmen business students. Students work with business mentors in the New Orleans area once a month.
“What students really need when they're 18 or 19 is direction,” Johnston said. “Before the program, our retention rates were really low. Within one year of starting the program, our retention rates rose. Now students say they are excited to be in business.”