Students looking for an opportunity to connect with alumni in their potential career fields can now apply for the Student-Alumni mentorship program held by Career Services.
The program, which began in fall 2017, matches alumni and students each semester. Director of Career Services Joanna Wiseley said the alumni base has grown to more than 300 potential mentors for students.
Over the course of the semester, the students get in touch with their mentors by phone or email, conduct a mock interview, and follow-up with communications afterward. Wiseley said more than 80 percent of participants opt to continue a relationship with their mentor at the end of the program.
Senior Callie Ring, a student affairs mentor who assists with the program, said this semester’s program still has room for more participants. Students are able to select several potential mentors from the LinkedIn group based on factors such as the mentor’s career field or geographic location. Career Services then works to pair the students with a mentor.
“They get to talk to someone potentially in the field they want to go in,” Ring said. “They can ask them about their career path and get a sense for what their day-to-day work looks like.”
Ring said the program has filled up quickly in past semesters, but there are still available spots remaining for this semester.
“One semester, we had 40 people fill the spots in seven minutes,” Ring said. “When we sent out the survey about how people liked it, we got a lot of positive responses.”
Executive Director of Career Services Ken Koopmans said alumni of the college have a unique perspective that provides valuable insights for the students they mentor.
“Alumni are one of our greatest partners in the success of Career Services because they’re familiar with the Hillsdale education, but they’re also familiar with the working world,” Koopmans said. “They can identify with students because they remember what that’s like, and they know what it’s like to be working full-time in an industry.”