Consider the Virginia Alumni Mentoring Program

Friday, February 20, 2015

by Maria Roa Arrazola, 4th year WGS Major
Virginia Alumni Mentoring connects third-year students with alumni who have volunteered to provide insights about the process of choosing and starting a career in their specific field.

The program provides students and their alumni mentors a structured means of initiating a professional relationship to discuss career interests and topics of professional preparation: together, they develop goals for their regular meetings, during which the alumni mentors offer insights about their own undergraduate experiences, career progression and current work which supports mentees in navigating their own chosen career paths.

I have heard really great things about this new program that was piloted in 2013. This is an opportunity for an undergraduate student to create a profile and reach out to alumni that want to mentor current students regarding career decisions, and opportunities. The open registration period is at the beginning of each academic year. Their plan is to have conversations/meetings/activities with the mentor a minimum of 2-4 times per semester, but ideally at least once a month although depending on the mentor and mentees availability it could be more. The commitment is for two semesters either FALL/SPRING or SPRING/SUMMER, and this is not a one time only opportunity. If the student is a 2nd year he/she can search for a new mentor after the two semester official commitment has ended. I thought this would be a great opportunity for the WGS undergraduate program since the major is very interdisciplinary. It would be interesting to see what kind of alumni would reach out to the students as well as what kind of mentor the students choose.