Guest article by Andrew Gallan.

Recently, I was asked by Sertan and Kristina to join the SERVSIG board as Mentoring Officer. I was grateful and honored to be asked, and I immediately accepted this position. My goal is to help services scholars connect with mentors who are a good match for their preferences and needs. This includes doctoral students and young scholars, but also anyone who believes that they would benefit from establishing a professional relationship with another scholar who can help them navigate the many issues that we face. 

Mentoring may address many tasks, including but not limited to research, publishing, teaching, service, work-life balance, and P&T processes. Mentoring can be a very powerful force in the professional life of an academic. It can help one through difficult decisions and situations and create social bonds and networks that make our lives more meaningful. 

I have personally experienced mentoring that has been very beneficial to my development. During my doctoral studies at Arizona State University, Stephen W. Brown, an exceptional scholar and person who was the Executive Director of the Center for Services Leadership, provided an exemplary role that improved my education and maturation. His ability to provide advice, to listen, to assign tasks that helped me see things differently, to contribute to scholarly work, and to collaborate with others, were a large part of my transition into academic life. Stephen (my dissertation chair) and Mary Jo Bitner, who was a member of my dissertation committee, invested in me, protected me when necessary, and pushed me to become a better scholar. I personally learned a lot just from observing Stephen and Mary Jo’s demeanor, behaviors, and communication style. They became role models and mentors that impact me to this day. 

I have also been in situations where I have benefited from the advice and mentoring of others who were not in the same department or university as I was. There were several instances in my academic career when I have felt isolated, unappreciated, and a bit lost. In these situations, I have been very grateful for the many academic friends I have who have listened to me, empathized with me, and have shared their experiences and perspectives. All of this this is to say that mentoring can be a very important aspect of being successful as a services scholar and dealing with stress and uncertainty. 

I plan on hosting virtual and in-person presentations and discussions with scholars at various stages of their careers to provide valuable advice on navigating a career in academia. I also wish to meet as many young services scholars as possible at conferences and other in-person meetings. My plan is to establish a mentor-mentee matching system that connects pairs and networks of scholars who can benefit from one another. My goal, and the mission of SERVSIG, is to welcome young scholars into our community, to empower and enable them to be their best, and to make their lives more meaningful. The services community has always been very welcoming and friendly – there are ways we can continue to harness and amplify this culture to the benefit of all of us. 

Thank you again to Sertan and Kristina, and the entire SERVSIG board and community, for asking me to assume this important role. If there is anything I can do to help, or if you wish to be a part of the mentor/mentee list at SERVSIG, do not hesitate to contact me at I hope to see you soon!

Andrew Gallan
Assistant Professor of Marketing
College of Business, Florida Atlantic University