Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program
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Katlyn Meers

Major: History
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Gilbertsville, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program through my adviser, Ben Whitesell.

From the first phone call that I had with her I knew that she would be very influential in my life and she has yet to let me down. 

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was matched with my mentor during the spring of my junior year. From the first phone call that I had with her I knew that she would be very influential in my life and she has yet to let me down. Initially I explained to her that my overall goals for our relationship included learning more about the job search process, refining my resume and cover letters as well as my interview skills, and adapting to life after graduation. Once she understood my goals we immediately began working to accomplish them. We talk on the phone every other week and every phone call has a similar structure; we talk about the small goal that we agreed on during the last phone call, then discuss the progress we both made individually on accomplishing that goal, then where we need to go from there, and finally we outline the goal to work on for our next phone call. This method has been very effective for us because it keeps us focused and by breaking up the big goals into smaller goals we are able to accomplish the overall goal more efficiently.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically my relationship with my mentor has been extremely helpful, more helpful than she realizes I think. Senior year has been a stressful time for me with class work as well as my job, but my mentor has helped ease some of that stress by helping me with my job search. Initially I was worried going into this semester that I would have trouble navigating the job search process on my own because I was not sure what I needed to do to be successful. My mentor stepped in and immediately began to steer me in the right direction and help me every step of the way. By clearly knowing what I needed to do next I became a lot less stressed because I no longer worried about what I had to do and simply did it. My mentor helped relieve some of the stress associated with finding a job after graduation and this helped me focus more on my academics.

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

My career goals are to be offered a job in a management position in a grocery store chain after graduation. My mentoring experience greatly helped me work towards accomplishing this goal in numerous ways, described in previous answers. Besides helping me with the logistics of searching for a job, resumes, interviewing skills, etc., my mentor also helped boost my confidence as I began my job search. As a Liberal Arts major applying for a traditionally business major position I was worried that I was not qualified, even with a business minor. My mentor helped me see that all the unique skills and experience that I have acquired through my major and my job make me well-qualified for the position. This confidence greatly helped me at the career fair and the subsequent interviews because I realized that I truly can do this and land my dream job. Since beginning my search I have had two interviews and a call back interview, all thanks to my mentor and her amazing assistance along the way.

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, especially those who are worried about any aspects of college life; picking a major, classes, finding a job, etc. Your mentor has gone through all of these experiences already and is more than willing to offer you advice, personal life experiences, and any resources they may have available to ensure that you succeed during your time at Penn State. Signing up for the mentoring program has truly been one of the best decisions I made as a student in the College of the Liberal Arts.

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