By Rylee Seavers | Staff Writer
Baylor Career and Professional Development and the Baylor Alumni Network have created a mentor network for students and alumni to connect.
The program allows students to find alumni based on industry, company, affinity and location and reach out for career advice, said Jarrod Mathis, programming specialist for Career & Professional Development.
The program was opened to students on Monday and already has about 400 alumni in the system, said Jon Sisk, director of network engagement for the Alumni Network. Sisk said the Mentor Network has been in development for many years and will provide alumni with opportunities to give their time back to Baylor by mentoring students and recent graduates.
“Really the idea is to have a place for students of any major, of any interest, to be able to go and prepare for life after graduation,” Mathis said. “We have alumni that do incredible things, that have incredible stories. Stories of success and failure, straight and steady paths and paths that wind all over the place, and we really believe that those are the stories that can help young men and women, whether they are in school or recently graduated, be successful as professionals.”
Mathis said there are two types of mentorships, long term and short term. The long-term mentorship lasts for about six months, and the mentor and mentee create goals that they will work toward during that time, Mathis said. The short-term mentorship allows students to contact mentors on a one-time basis and ask questions over the phone, through email, in person or via video chat, Mathis said.
To get involved, students can log in to the Mentor Network using Facebook, LinkedIn or their Baylor ID, Mathis said. Students will create a profile detailing their major and interests, and the system will suggest possible mentors, but they are also able to search on their own.
“We think this is a great way for students to get connected with alums in companies that they are interested in, in industries that they would like to be a part of. We think relationships really are the bedrock on which careers are built and developed,” Mathis said.
The website also has resources that can help students create goals with their mentors and guide them through the process of mentorship, as it may be new for many.
“Go for it. If you see an alum out there that you would like to meet with or speak with or communicate with, please do. Alums are far more generous with their time than the students think, so if they are on the Mentor Network and they signed up, that means, ‘Hey, I look forward to discussing my professional career’… It can be anything from career-oriented questions all the way to life-oriented questions. [Students] will be surprised how open [mentors] are and giving with their time,” Sisk said.
The Mentor Network website provides resources for students who are unsure if mentorship is right for them. It also suggests that students who are hesitant to engage in a formal mentorship explore possible mentors and reach out to them.
The Mentor Network can be found at baylor.edu/mentor.