Are you unsure of your career path? Torn between being an air traffic controller or a mime? Still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up? Well, the Student Alumni Mentor Initiative may be just what you need to steer you in the right direction.
Established in 1997 by the General Alumni Association, the program is designed to give Temple students early access to a variety of professionals who are Temple alumni. The Mentor Initiative specifically targets sophomores and juniors and matches them with alumni who have academic and professional experiences that are relevant to the student’s interests.
What exactly is a mentor? A mentor is NOT a surrogate parent, an employment agent or a cash cow to help supplement your debt. The term comes from Greek mythology that tells of Odysseus leaving his son Telemachus to his trusted friend and advisor, “mentor.”
The term has come to describe an older friend who listens, supports and guides the younger “protégé.” As such, the program allows mentors the opportunity to invest their time and energy in assisting their protégés in identifying, exploring and questioning the requirements of various career paths.
Participation in the program requires a one-year commitment. This includes going through the program’s orientation, the mentor and protégé meeting face to face on campus as well as at the mentor’s work site.
Although the program is only four years old, it has been a big success. William Hart, Associate Director for Alumni Relations, explained that his office has been able to match twenty-five students with a mentor. “Right now there are more alumni involved than students,” he said.
Alumni have been particularly enthusiastic about participating in the program. “It allows alumni to get reacquainted with the university,” Hart said. “There’s the possibility of connecting with multiple alumni.”
It is common to hear accomplished people reveal that having a mentor was a key factor in their success. Students should take advantage of the Student Alumni Mentor Initiative.
If you’re looking for a mentor or would like more information on the program, contact Hart at the Alumni Center in Mitten Hall, 215-204-7521. It could be just what you need to help you “grow up.”