Virginia Alumni Mentoring is a program that 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.
A mentor is a mix of coach, leader, advisor, counselor, teacher, guide, and friend. A mentor provides a mentee with a taste of the real world in the career he/she is pursuing and the knowledge of what it takes to get there. The more experienced mentor draws upon his/her knowledge, skill set, and perspective to provide guidance and feedback while facilitating the professional development of a less experienced mentee. A mentee takes an active role and responsibility for his/her own learning while a mentor asks thought-provoking questions that help a student gain insights for making informed career decisions and taking appropriate steps.
Virginia Alumni Mentoring is a partnership among the College of Arts & Sciences, University Career Services and the U.Va. Alumni Association. Piloted in 2013 by the College Foundation, it has been expanded through support and funding from University Career Services, the Alumni Association, the Provost’s office, the Dean of Arts & Sciences, and the College Council.
In the News
UVA Today | January 29, 2015 – Alumni Mentors Offer Students the Inside Scoop on Fulfilling Careers After Graduation by Kathleen Herring