“A lot of graduating students do not have a mentor and are not experienced at networking,” said Rachel Jones, assistant dean of learning and student success. “Students are wondering, ‘How do I transition from a student to a professional? How do I take what I learned in a classroom and make that relevant in the real world?’”
The new mentoring program pairs graduating seniors with College of Social Sciences and Communication alumni as well as career professionals. More than 35 mentoring pairs have already joined the new program, which began with a welcome reception on April 3 where the mentors and mentees met for the first time. This is a flexible mentoring program with mentors participating from as far away as Yemen.
Jones thinks that the mentoring program could be an important way to guide graduating students during a key time in their early professional careers. Mentors can help mentees understand the job market, make decisions about graduate school, and gain professional experience and contacts.
“Many of the students are just looking for help and for someone to voice their concerns to,” Jones said. “It can be hard to share those vulnerabilities with friends and family, but it’s easier with a professional in their field who knows what they are going through.”
The new mentoring program is a key component of the college’s College to Career program, a series of workshops and events designed to help graduating seniors get a job or accepted into graduate school. The CSSC Signature Experience: College to Career program includes CSSC Research and Creative Works Showcase, CSSC Career Day, career preparation and graduate school workshops, and site visits to potential employers.
“This is a win-win situation for everyone involved,” said Dr. Julien Mirivel, interim dean of the College of Social Sciences and Communication. “We are offering graduating students a good mentor at a key time in their lives. Mentors who want to help students are making a meaningful impact in their lives. This is a relationship we hope will continue well beyond graduation.”
In the upper right photo, Dr. Julien Mirivel addresses the participants of the College of Social Sciences and Communication’s new mentoring program on April 3.