OverviewBack to top
A mentee says:
"I knew that he wanted to help me [which] got our relationship off on the right foot."
What is a Mentor?
Teacher, Career Guide, Role Model, Sponsor, and Challenger.
- Advise Students on how to successfully navigate their way through Penn State by providing support and encouragement.
- Teach students about the importance of networking.
- Assist students in bridging the gap between college life and working life.
- Provide developmental feedback on strengths and weaknesses.
Professionals today have so much desire to give back, but often can't find the time to do it. This program is perfect for you, because it's flexible to match your schedule. It's spread out over enough time to keep the pace energetic but not frenetic.
The Mentor Program is designed for juniors and seniors in the College of the Liberal Arts and runs through graduation.
The Mentorship ExperienceBack to top
Mentorships vary. Some students are highly self-aware and clearly identify the areas with which they need assistance. Others are less well-developed and may need help identifying their skills and applying their experiences and interests to post-college planning. Most are initially quite intimidated at meeting their mentor and tend to forget that you were once in their shoes. Their focus varies, their plans change, many are incredibly busy, and like the rest of us, sometimes crises arise.
Strong mentors are intentional about their mentoring role and sensitive and flexible to their mentee’s needs. They seek to make the mentorship a good one by investing time and energy to get to know their mentee and deliberately and proactively offer the career guidance and emotional support most useful to their mentee. At times, mentors may have to challenge or push their mentee. At others, they may need to back-off.
The alumni relations office arranges the initial meeting, with a facilitator, on campus or in some cases by phone or video-chat (SKYPE, etc.). Mentor and mentee Handbooks guide you through the steps to draft an action plan and schedule next steps together.
As a mentor you are asked to:
- Meet your mentee at least once per month in person or by phone or video-chat.
- Complete a written mentorship plan—a Compact—with your student, to be submitted to the program manager.
- Complete 3-month, 6-month, and end-of-year program surveys. These brief surveys, conducted on-line, are an important monitoring and program quality tool.
*Internships and job placement opportunities are NOT expected to be a regular part of the mentor program.
Resources and SupportBack to top
- Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network
- Penn State Career Services
- Penn State Career Services Handouts
Career Guide (programs, activities, resources)
Developing career goals and the career planning process
Résumé- and cover letter-writing guidance
- LinkedIn group for Liberal Arts Mentors
A resource for mentors designed to enhance the mentorship program and provide alumni mentors with the resources they need to be successful. Connect with one another and share best practices in this invitation-only group.
- Mentor FAQ
- Alumni Handbook
- Getting Started
Registration. The Matching ProcessBack to top
A mentee says:
[She] "set up several calls with me when she felt the need to talk and I believe I was able to answer her questions and give her the input she needed."
Quality matches are at the heart of successful mentorships, and matches are based on career areas, geography, shared interests, and the like. With hundreds of alumni and students interested in participating, registration is required. The on-line form takes five to ten minutes to complete.
Registration is open year-round, and matches are made each fall and spring semester.