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What is the UMD Mentor Program?

Modeled after similar programs on the Twin Cities campus, the UMD Mentor
Program will partner individual students with an alumni or professional mentor.
Partnerships will be based on selected criteria including career preferences,
academic background, geographic preference, and more. The program will be
coordinated by the Office of Alumni Relations and rely on collaboration and
resources from participating academic units.


How does it work?

Students and mentors will apply to be part of the program. Application criteria will
be developed based on industry best practices and conversations with staff and
faculty. Students will be matched with mentors by the Advisory Committee.
Students will be introduced to their mentor at a university-sponsored kickoff event.
Student and mentor will be encouraged to follow a mentoring guide that suggest
tasks, activities, and objectives to accomplish during the academic year. The mentor
program will operate from roughly October through April.


Where will the mentoring happen?

The UMD Mentor Program will match students with mentors in both the Twin Ports
and Twin Cities areas based on student preference. Matching students and mentors
by geographic preference will enable students to develop networks in areas where
they want to live and work. Many of the tasks, activities, and objectives will involve
university-sponsored events (see Sample Program Calendar); others will occur at
the discretion of the student and mentor (e.g. individually scheduled in-person
meetings, telephone calls, videoconferences, email, etc.).

Goals

  • Students will work with a professional to develop and reflect on goals and career pathways.
  • Students will benefit from establishing and maintaining a professional relationship while in school.
  • Students will become more familiar with an industry or profession in a location of their choosing (Duluth/Superior or Minneapolis/St. Paul).
  • Alumni mentors will gain firsthand knowledge of the talent, knowledge, and curiosity of UMD students. This development will enhance the bond between alumni and their college.
  • Alumni (and their employers) will gain access to some of the brightest and most hard-working students at UMD for their organization’s talent pipeline.

Outcomes

  • Students will develop professional networks while in school.
  • Students will receive guidance from an industry professional.
  • Aid student retention efforts.
  • Mentor role will serve as a valuable cultivation opportunity for donors.

Assessment

  • Students and mentors will be surveyed on their experiences in the program upon conclusion of the year (April).
  • Staff will check in with students and mentors throughout the year to gauge individual satisfaction and performance.
  • Data will be used to influence the application process, mentor pairing, recruitment, and programming in future years.