Alumni & Friends Alumni Mentoring Program

Guidelines for the Student

Welcome to the LAU Alumni Mentoring Program (AMP)!

The AMP brings together current LAU seniors with volunteer alumni mentors who provide the students with career guidance and networking advice, with the purpose of furthering their professional development.

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Your mentor will probably be a busy professional.
  • The relationship can be fun but should not be casual.
  • Always be yourself. 
  • Be open about your student experiences with your mentor.
  • Your mentor may be willing to critique your work (such as résumé, papers, presentations, etc.): Don't be shy about asking for advice.
  • Your interaction with your mentor is confidential.
  • You and your mentor should set clear guidelines/boundaries for your relationship.
  • Never break appointments unless you absolutely have to.  
  • Your mentor may offer constructive criticism of your work/level of career preparation: Do not take it personal, it is part of your mentor’s job.
  • Be patient and flexible – your mentor has a lot of other responsibilities and may not always be able to make you a priority.
  • Show gratitude: your mentor is volunteering his or her valuable time to share their expertise with you.  
  • Set high but realistic expectations.

    THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ACTION PLAN

    As you begin your relationship with your mentor, you may wish to get together with him or her to work out an action plan. Doing so will allow you to get acquainted on a personal level while charting out your mutual goals and the basic steps the two of you can take to achieve them. To help guide you through the process, your Mentoring Handbook includes a “Goals and Action Plan” form.

    INTERACTING WITH YOUR MENTOR

    It is natural to feel nervous about contacting or talking to your mentor. Remind yourself that your mentor volunteered for the job of answering your questions, giving you advice, and helping you reach a clear understanding of your educational and career goals. Your enthusiasm and assertiveness make their job easier.

    The purpose of the mentorship program is to help you achieve a successful start to a good career. How you achieve this objective together with your mentor is for the two of you to decide upon. Your priorities always come first – it is your career, after all!  The mentor is there to provide input, but the decision whether or not to act on his or her advice is ultimately up to you.

    Respect your mentor’s other commitments by making good use of his or her time, arriving prepared and on time to every meeting. You may want to provide your mentor with a preliminary list of questions/issues you want to discuss in advance of the meeting.

    While it may be tempting to think of your mentor as a source of advice for all aspects of your life, the primary focus of your interaction should be career and professional development. Your conversations will most likely be related to your course work, interactions with professors and other students, and other school related subjects. If you need advice on other, more personal issues, your mentor should direct you to the best place to get that advice.

    If you are not sure how to approach your mentor for career advice, here are some sample questions you may wish to ask him or her:

  • What do you find to be the most interesting/rewarding about your career? 
  • What kinds of problems do you face in the workplace?  What do you find most difficult about your job? 
  • What skills/abilities have helped you most to build a successful career?
  • What trade journal or magazines should I familiarize myself with to learn more about my chosen field? 
  • What kind of work environment should I expect?  
  • What are the essential qualifications for jobs in this field? 
  • Can I take any specific courses that would be especially beneficial to me in my chosen field?   
  • What kind of entry-level jobs are typical for this career? 
  • Is there anything I should know about this career field that is not obvious to the outsider? 
  • Is this field one of growing opportunities, or is the availability of jobs declining?
  • What is the best way to get my foot in the door?
  • How flexible is the career field in terms of hours, innovation, life-style, self-expression, etc.? 

    Your mentors will not do your work for you. He or she may provide contacts or review your resume to help you be as prepared as possible. It is up to you to actually call the contacts or write the resume.

    WHAT YOUR MENTOR CAN DO FOR YOU:

           Be a good listener 
           Act as your advocate 
           Coach you through difficult moments 
           Be a friend
           Offer guidance 
           Serve as a positive role model 
           Sponsor you professionally 
           Help you build self-esteem and self-confidence 
           Provide you with job references

    WHAT YOUR MENTOR CANNOT DO FOR YOU:

          Fulfill the role of an absent parent
          Provide professional counseling
          Be an employment counselor
          Act as a social worker

    Through your work together, you may develop a rewarding relationship with your mentor that may continue beyond graduation.  If that happens, enjoy the wonderful fruits of collaboration and friendship for years to come. But even if it does not, your mentor may still help you kick-start a rewarding career.

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