Thank you for your interest in mentoring students in Chemical and Biological Engineering (ChBE)!
The following general guidelines are provided as guidance to mentors on the expected level of commitment. However, we encourage mentors to be flexible, and to share with each other and with us their ideas for improving or getting the most out of the program.
What are the goals of the Alumni Student Mentoring Program (ASMP)?
- Impart on students a sense of professionalism and maturity.
- Link alumni and current students.
- Establish a ChBE culture of service.
- Provide a means for alumni to make a significant impact on students.
What kind of advice should mentors impart?
- The advice mentors give to students will vary greatly, but below are some general topics mentors may wish to address.
- A Sense of Professionalism. Advice on how students will be expected to carry themselves and act in the professional world.
- Career Advice. What fields and opportunities are out there, and how can students prepare now to position themselves to take full advantage? Based on their career goals, should students consider post-graduate school or go directly into industry?
- Ways to Bolster a Resume. Apart from a high GPA, what will help students find a job or get into a good graduate school? This may be certain industrial experience, research, leadership roles, volunteer work or other extracurricular activities.
- The Transition from School to the Next Step. Whether they are going into industry or graduate/medical/law school, you can provide valuable advice on how to make the transition go as smoothly as possible.
- How to Find a Job. How to network and best present oneself, job search tools that may be useful, etc.
- How to Choose a Graduate/Medical/Law School. What is most important to consider when applying for and visiting schools? For instance, advisor connection, ranking if going into academia, multiple research projects of interest, etc.
- The Importance of Service. Why do you feel giving back or volunteering is important?
- Helpful Advice You Have Received. Did certain advice help shape your career or life?
What support exists for mentors?
- You have the option to join a Mentor Team consisting of 5-10 mentors. These teams will be assigned based on location; team members will be put into contact by the ASMP Coordinator. Mentor Team members can talk about their mentoring experiences or beyond.
- Mentors will only be placed onto a team if they indicate their interest to the ASMP Coordinator.
- Mentors are always more than welcome to contact the ASMP Coordinator at any time with questions, concerns, or advice on how to improve the program.
How are mentors and students matched?
- Mentors will be asked to provide brief biographical sketch information or a LinkedIn profile for pairing purposes.
- Students will fill out a survey expressing their interests.
- The ASMP Coordinator will match mentors with student mentees based on shared interests and send an introductory email to everyone. The ASMP Coordinator will then step back and let the mentor initiate the next contact.
How many students are assigned to a mentor?
- Mentors will have a small number of student mentees, to be determined based on the number of volunteers.
- The mentor can also request a certain number of students if desired.
What is expected of the mentor?
- Mentors will schedule and hold “face-to-face” meetings with students in person or through Skype at leastonce per academic semester. These meetings can be conducted with small groups of students or each student individually. The focus is on establishing face time between mentors and students.
- Mentors will field a reasonable number of emails, phone calls, etc. from students. We expect students will occasionally contact mentors with questions in between face-to-face meetings, most commonly by email. We hope that mentors will respond to these questions when possible, understanding that the number of such contacts should be reasonable.
- The ASMP Coordinator will establish reasonable boundaries with students.
What is the estimated monthly time commitment?
- The estimated monthly time commitment per student mentee is 1-2 hours.
How long is the commitment?
- Mentor-mentee pairing will be maintained through graduation. Mentors will only be changed based on the request of a mentor or mentee. We strongly encourage mentors to continue contact with mentees after completion of their degrees.
Will there be opportunities for feedback?
- The ASMP Coordinator will be contacting all mentors during their first mentoring semester to check in and solicit feedback.
- A survey will be administered to all mentors and students once a year to determine ways in which to improve the program.
What are some questions that can get conversations started with mentees?
- Tell me about yourself and your background.
- What would you like to know about me?
- What are your questions for me?
- What do you want to take away from this mentoring program?
- What classes do you most enjoy?
- In what activities are you involved?
- What are you doing to set yourself apart from your peers?
- In which fields are you interested and why? In which fields are you absolutely not interested and why?
- What are your short-term (post-graduation) goals?
- What are your long-term (10-20 years) goals?
- What do you think you need to do now to achieve your goals?
- What are your concerns for your future?
- Would you like me to look over your resume and cover letter and provide advice?
- How do you think a school and professional setting are different?
- Do you have questions about choosing a graduate, medical or law school?
- Are you concerned that your first job outside of school will pigeon-hole you?
- Do you have questions about the advantages and disadvantages of working at a small versus big company?
- Do you think you would be interested in management? How do you think you could position yourself to move into a management role?
- Do you have questions about negotiating?
- Do you have general questions about financial issues? For instance, how do various retirement plans work, what is a stock purchase plan, what are some resources for money management and stock investment, or what is involved in buying a house?
If you have any questions whatsoever during any point in the process, please do not hesitate to contact the ASMP Coordinator. Thanks for your participation!