Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program
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Michelle Perry

Major: Philosophy
Minor: English and Psychology 
Hometown: Hummelstown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I made an appointment with the Career Enrichment Network to talk about resume review, internship opportunities, and career preparation. I heard there about the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I'm always looking for more help and guidance in navigating the big decisions of my life, and the thought of being paired with a Penn State alum who could mentor me was exciting. Even though I only had a year left at the time I heard about the program, I filled out the application anyway, and I'm really glad I did. I was accepted into the program, attended an orientation meeting, and then just waited to hear who my mentor would be! Just a few weeks later I received an email telling me with whom I was matched. A week or two after that we had an introductory phone call, and we've been having bi-weekly phone meetings since then. My mentor lives in Pittsburgh, but the distance between there, State College, and my hometown hasn't been a problem. We were even able to meet once in person at the Creamery. My mentor has mentored other students in the past and has been incredibly insightful and helpful to me.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Being a mentee has had a pretty big impact on my academics. I was set to graduate a semester early, but talking with my mentor about what I wanted to accomplish after graduation helped me realize I could make use of that extra time. Instead of graduating in December 2015 with just one minor, I'll be graduating in May 2016 with two minors. Using the full two semesters of my senior year has allowed me to take a lighter course load and search for more experiences outside of class, like volunteering in a research lab or with a United Way Partner Agency downtown.

Working with the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program has helped me explore my own interests and figure out what I want to do. 

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals are currently geared toward graduate school in counseling or psychology, but six months ago I wouldn't have been able to answer this question. Working with the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program has helped me explore my own interests and figure out what I want to do. What's been most helpful is having my mentor to steer me in the right direction; She has helped me identify from whom I could learn more about my fields of interest and held me accountable for everything from setting up meetings to sending out emails.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would certainly recommend the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program to other Liberal Arts students. Personally, it has been invaluable having access to an outside perspective from a person who used to be a Penn State student. Through this program I've grown personally, professionally, and academically. Even with a minimal time commitment you can get a lot out of this program.

For more information on the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program, visit our website
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