Making the connection: UWF alumni mentoring program
Connecting UWF alumni with current students, UWF is implementing an interactive way for alumni to reach out and give back to their alma mater. The program, initiated by Alumni Relations and Career Services, allows UWF students to meet with alumni to ask for advice in their career fields of interest.
“The mentoring program is an excellent way for students to gain knowledge from UWF alumni in their fields of study, as well as their interests,” said Missy Grace, Alumni Relations coordinator. “It’s a chance for alumni to show students what they can do and the experiences they have personally had in their positions.”
The program screens potential alumni mentors who are allowed to decide their level of involvement in the program. Students who have not declared a major or who are struggling with career decisions are asked to meet with a Career Coach before making contact with a mentor.
“Alumni are always looking for a way to be engaged with the university,” said Grace. “They want to get involved and this program provides them that opportunity.”
Working with Career Services to make the program a reality, Alumni Relations assists in promoting the program and also works to increase the number of mentors involved in participating. Career Services maintains and monitors the mentor and student databases, which are currently accessed through Jasonquest, a jobs and services opportunities network designed specifically for UWF students and alumni.
“Students gain real-world experience outside of the classroom making contacts and networking with alumni through this program,” said KC Etheredge, director of Alumni Relations. “Through mentoring, alumni have a chance to remember their experiences at UWF, create student relationships and experience a certain sense of nostalgia since they also in turn get to learn from students.”
In addition to connecting students and alumni through phone conversations, e-mail and occasional one-on-one meetings, Alumni Relations and Career Services hope to eventually arrange for alumni mentoring events on campus to provide more opportunities for interactions through lectures and service-oriented events.
For more information, contact Patrice Friant, assistant director of Experiential Education, at (850) 474-2254 or e-mail email@example.com or Grace at (850) 474-3423 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To register as a mentor, visit myinterfase.com/uwf/mentor.
By Megan Tyson, University Marketing Communications