Receiving the guidance of a mentor during your college years can be a valuable experience, especially when you enter the job market and the workforce. Having a mentor in college can give you the support you need to stay focused in classes, help you find connections between your education and your personal and professional lives, and build important time management skills.
If you had a mentor in college, you might consider becoming a mentor to a student from your alma mater. The AIU Alumni Mentoring Program is designed to give students the leadership and direction they need to become leaders in their chosen fields—and as an AIU alum, you’re perfectly suited to help current AIU students navigate the Virtual Campus, balance their studies with their personal lives, and plan for a career.
Alumni who volunteer to participate in the AIU Alumni Mentoring Program are paired with a student whose academic pursuits match their own. As a mentor, you’ll be asked to commit to weekly e-mails, and possibly phone or video conferencing several times throughout the session. You’ll also be asked to make periodic reports on the progress of your mentee.
How you and your mentee maintain your relationship is up to you: e-mails and other online contact is usual, but if you and your mentee are in the same area, you might consider meeting face-to-face a few times throughout the session. Beginning a relationship with a mentee is different for everyone, so find something that works best for you and your mentee.
Attending a virtual campus can seem a little distant at first; since students don’t have occasions to see each other on campus or in class building hallways, having a mentor who can show them how to connect with other students can be incredibly comforting. If you’re currently in the field that your mentee is studying, you can help find ways to connect your mentee’s coursework to his or her desired profession. Sometimes, simply having a willing ear can make all the difference for a college student; you can give your mentee the support needed, both with classes and with other aspects of college life.
Making a Difference
Once your mentee has finished the online degree program, you don’t have to end your relationship; in fact, we encourage our students to maintain relationships and to help each other build professional networks. You can offer tips on how to jump start a career search, teach effective interview skills, and show your mentee what was learned in the courses can be used to market his or her skills. The encouragement you offer your mentee can make a huge difference.
Being a member of the AIU Alumni Mentoring Program can do more than change the life of one student—it can change your life, too. By spending a few hours a week helping to guide a student through his or her college experience, you could help shape the career of some of the future professionals in the workforce.