Ask Dana Reinhardt about his success in the insurance and finance business, and he will be quick to point out how much he has valued the wisdom passed onto him by his mentors. Mr. Reinhardt believes in the collaborative spirit of mentoring, as well as investing in our most important resource, our students. Currency had the opportunity to meet up with the namesake of the Reinhardt Academic Center and talk mentorship at the College of Business.
UofL: As an alum, how important was your time in the business school?
Reinhardt: When I graduated from the business school, I wanted to give back any way I can because it helped me so much. I felt there was a real need to build some enthusiasm for our business majors. There’s much to offer our students here and if we can fast track [their career development], a place to provide that support and hands-on mentorship — then we can get them not only excited for what’s next but also build community.
As we continue the development of the Reinhardt Academic Center, I want it to have a feel of a small town, that spirit of helping one another in order to be successful. It goes both ways in mentoring. Young people have this vast source of knowledge and you may learn from them as much as they learn from you!
The Academic Center is here to kickstart our students, help them realize and apply that knowledge base with some timely mentoring from the school.
UofL: Tell us what mentorship means to you.
Reinhardt: I have met so many successful people through professional dealings and would always ask them questions about their process and progress. They would always tell me about how hard they worked — they’d say “I’m not going to give you any money, but I’ll give you good advice.” [That advice] was worth any money they could have given me.
Today, I continue to run my own business but I also spend a lot of my time mentoring… working with the College and our students to put them in touch with the right people in the business world. It’s so important to develop those connections, get to know those people, and really work those connections in order to be successful moving forward.
UofL: As someone who has been an active member of both the private sector and our alumni community, give us your take on what’s coming next for Louisville.
Reinhardt: It’s an exciting time to live in Louisville and be at the University. With all the IT advancements happening here and in the state, there’s a real opportunity to grow in this city as well as across the river in Jeffersonville. I hope that the students we mentor here will also stay here and help us continue to develop and grow the Center and the College of Business.
UofL: What advice do you have for our newest graduates?
Reinhardt: Get your resume out to as many places as possible. What a job interview does is sharpen your skills in terms of answering questions, helping you form better responses moving forward. After an interview it’s also important to write down those questions which you may have not had a well-thought out response so the next time you will be that much more prepared.