Career Ser­vices office plans for Webinars fea­turing alumni. Bridget Breckler | Courtesy

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.”