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The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.


How Alumni Mentors Can Improve The College Experience

AIU Alumni Association

College can be hard. Every college student needs a support network to provide encouragement, guidance, and accountability on his or her journey. While family, instructors, and friends can help form this support network, sometimes you may need more targeted, practical advice. This is where a student or alumni mentor comes in.

An Alumni Mentoring Program can improve the college experience. Mentors and mentees alike can benefit from this type of semi-professional partnership, clarifying their goals, discovering new talents, and working to correct weaker skills. Here are a few of the benefits of participating in the Alumni Mentoring Program.

How Alumni Mentoring Programs Work

In a mentoring program, new students are matched with a graduate who acts as a mentor. The mentor is a guide and role model, so alumni chosen to act as mentors are usually successful and reliable as well as personable and genuinely eager to help others.

A student is matched with a mentor who studied the same degree as the inquiring student or mentee. Occasionally students request to have a more specific mentor match. In these cases the Alumni Relations Manager will work with this individual to find a more specific match for them.

Mentors and mentees email on a regular basis and discuss:

  • The student’s academic goals and progress
  • What resources are available to the student, and how to access them
  • Managing time, setting goals, and studying effectively

In an online college degree setting, mentors and mentees can also discuss getting the most out of educational software and managing relationships with far-flung classmates and instructors.

Benefits For Student Mentees

When you’re starting college for the first time (or for the first time in a while), the alumni mentoring program can offer the student/mentee an instant connection to your new community. At a large, online campus, having someone focused on making sure you are set up to succeed is a motivator and can prevent you feeling “lost.”

You can learn about how to make the most of your library, your career services department, and other student resources. Because mentors are typically high-performing graduates, you can also get practical tips about managing your academic workload, developing a relationship with your instructors, managing your work-life-school balance, and more. They’ve done it successfully, so they know what you’re going through.

Benefits to Mentors

Alumni who choose to mentor new students develop a stronger bond with their school community. They also have the opportunity to share what they’ve learned and make a lasting impact. The process of mentoring may also help mentors refine their own goals and aspirations, due to positive pressure that comes as a result of being a role model for someone else.

Finally, mentors can learn about different backgrounds and experiences from the students they partner with. Mentoring can help students and graduates develop personal qualities such as patience, reflectiveness, and the ability to motivate someone to perform better. These are skills that a mentor can take along wherever their future path lies.

AIU Alumni Association members can learn more about the AIU Alumni Mentoring Program or email alumni@aiuonline.edu.

This article is presented by American InterContinental University, a provider of career-focused degree programs. Students can also study on our Virtual Campus at AIU Online. Find out more at http://www.aiuniv.edu.

References:
http://www.stran.ac.uk/informationabout/departments/learningstudentservices/functionsofeducationservices/studentmentorscheme/
http://www.iop.org/careers/mentoring/benefits/page_38864.html#students
http://www.asha.org/students/gatheringplace/MentBen/

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