10:03 AM

How important are Mentors in These Transformative Times

In these transformative times, especially with the pandemic that has reshaped the workforce, mentors can help students recognize and manage complex issues in the workplace.

The importance of mentorship for college students has never been greater. Mentorship builds both general and specialist knowledge and hones decision-making and critical thinking skills.

UST Career Services and the Alumni Relations Office know the value of pairing these special advisors with students. Since 2004, they have run the successful Insights Mentoring Program, calling on UST alumni to coach the next generation of students on campus.

“The partnership between Alumni Relations and Career Services has helped Insights deliver a valuable and impactful experience for students and alumni, and many of the students become mentors after they graduate,” Marsh said.

Mentors Help Students’ Careers

Testifying to the perceived value of receiving the guidance and encouragement that mentors provide, a record 100 students signed up last year for the program. The abundance resulted in one mentor having two students to guide. This year, thanks to the growth in UST’s mentor ranks, each participating student will have their own mentor.

This year, the Insights Mentoring Program is prepared to assist specific populations on campus – 15 student organization leaders and 35 students in the Rising Stars Internship Program will participate.

“Mentoring student organization leaders is definitely the highlight of my job,” Shundeez Faridifar, MBA ‘19, UST’s director of Student Engagement and Leadership, said. “Campus organizations give students the opportunity to take what they learn in the classroom and put it into action outside of the classroom.”

So valuable is the Insights Program that first-generation students—who make up Rising Stars—are required to participate in Insights during their sophomore year as one of their workforce development experiences.

Insights Program Highlights: 

  • Applications are accepted for the program in the fall, and it begins in the spring semester. The Program kicks off at the end of January and runs through April.
  • The Program will match students with alumni based on major, interests and fit.
  • Each student and mentor go through an interview process.
  • Three events are required with a networking component built in. The mentor and mentee will meet several times each month on their own, and the students will attend additional career events (job fair, networking mixer, etc.).
  • It is recommended that students meet with their mentors several times each month; however, we find that many of our students meet with their mentors weekly.
  • Students receive guidance that will help them on their career path.