Guidelines for Students
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 for their professional development.
What your Mentor can do for you:
- Be a good listener
- Act as your advocate
- Coach you through difficult moments
- 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
The Importance of an Action Plan
Before you start with your mentor, you may wish to meet with him/her to work out an action plan. Doing so will allow you to get acquainted on a personal level while charting your mutual goals and steps to achieving them. To help guide you through the process, the 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. Remember, however, that your mentor volunteered to advise you and help you reach a clear understanding of your educational and career goals. Your enthusiasm and assertiveness will make their job easier.
The purpose of the mentorship program is to ease your transition to a good career. How you achieve this objective together with your mentor is for the two of you to decide. But your priorities should come first - it is your career, after all! The mentor is there to provide input, but the decision of whether to act on his or her advice is entirely yours.
Respect your mentor’s other commitments by making good use of his/her time, and arriving prepared and on time to every meeting. You may want to provide your mentor with a preliminary list of questions/issues you would like to discuss before 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 center on your course work, interactions with professors and your peers, and school-related issues. If you need advice on other, more personal concerns, your mentor might be able to suggest someone to talk to.
If you are not sure how to approach your mentor for career advice, here are some sample questions you may wish to ask him/her:
- What was the most interesting/rewarding aspect of your career?
- What sort of problems do you face in the workplace? What do you find most difficult about your job?
- What skills/abilities have helped you the most in building a successful career?
- What trade journals 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?
- Are there any additional courses I should take that might be of benefit?
- What types of entry-level jobs are typical for this career?
- Is there anything I should know about my chosen profession that is not obvious to the outsider?
- Is this field one of growing or declining opportunities?
- What is the best way to get my foot in the door?
- How flexible is the career in terms of hours, innovation, life-style, self-expression, etc.?
Your mentors will not do the work for you. He or she may provide you with contacts or review your resume but it is up to you to actually call the contacts and write the resume.
Things to Remember
- Your mentor will probably be a busy professional, so be patient and flexible.
- Your 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 boundaries to 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 personally; it is part of his/her job.
- Show gratitude: your mentor is volunteering his/her valuable time to share their expertise with you.
- Set high but realistic expectations.
Through your work together, you may develop a rewarding relationship with your mentor that may continue after 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.
Fill out the Alumni Mentoring Program Registration Form
Already took part in the Mentoring Program? fill out a short survey.