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Mentoring From the Goodness of Your Heart

Xiaolei Xie (mentee) and Isaac Truong ‘16 (mentor)Mentoring is important during a student’s college career. Students can learn from mentors who provide professional socialization and personal support. It is known that quality mentoring greatly enhances students’ chances for success. UST realizes that value of mentoring and has teamed up alumni with students in the UST Insights Mentoring Program.

Alumnus Mentor Gives Time and Talent

Alumni like Isaac Truong ‘16 are making an impact by mentoring a current UST student as part of the UST Insights Mentoring Program. Truong, a first time mentor, works as a Business Intelligence Consultant at Capgemini.

Truong, who graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics, was matched with Xiaolei Xie, a Chinese international student studying for a MBA/MSF degree(s) in the Cameron School of Business. In the early days of their mentor/mentee relationship, he offered valuable career and industry expertise to help her prepare for a job a on campus.

“It is an honor to give back to the students,” Truong said. “It becomes a simple task of giving guidance to students who are already smart, career-driven, and already possess leadership skills. Xiaolei has a bright future ahead and will be well equipped with moral, ethical and leadership qualities once she has graduated from our prestigious institution. Congratulations, Xiaolei!”

Xie Follows Truong’s Advice and Lands a Job!

Xie confided in Truong that she had an upcoming interview but wasn’t confident in her ability to handle the interview well. Not to worry, with Truong’s coaching, Xie had a great outcome when she was hired by Dr. Beena George, UST’s Chief Innovation Officer, as her student-worker.

“Isaac was a great mentor,” Xie said. “He spent an entire afternoon helping me with my resume. He gave me a lot of advice about interviewing and looking for job. The day before the interview, Isaac called me and gave me a lot of tips and advice. Before this program, I interviewed for two other jobs and I wasn’t hired. I will work with Dr. George on innovation and technology, which are areas that I like,” she said.

Insights Mentoring Program

The Insights Mentoring Program is sponsored by UST’s Career Services Center and the Office of Alumni Relations. The mission of the Program is to create a forum for students to gain knowledge about careers and industries by pairing them with UST alumni who will provide the benefit of their professional experience and insight.

The mentors and students meet once a month between January and April. Program events like Meet Your Mentor, Etiquette Dinner, Shared Insights and the Texas Job Fair are offered during that time period. It was at the Etiquette Dinner that Truong and Xie told the group about the job she landed.

"It is gratifying to hear stories like this,” Dr. Carla E. Alsandor, senior director of Alumni Relations, said. “Our alumni are giving back to their alma mater in many meaningful ways such as the UST Insights-Alumni Mentoring Students Program, where Isaac and 12 other alumni mentors have been paired up with student mentees for the semester-long program. We are truly grateful for their gifts of time and talent."

The additional benefits of the program may include attending professional meetings and job shadowing. Students learn about industry trends, the hidden job market, the power of networking, interviewing strategies and more.

“The UST Insights Mentoring Program provides students with practical guidance, encouragement, shared experiences, and networking opportunities by alumni who want to give back to the University,” Paula Marsh, director of Career Services said. “This experience is a valuable learning tool to help students in finding their purpose.”

How to Participate in the Program

If you are interested in participating in the Insights Mentoring Program as a mentor, complete an application before a mid-January deadline date. For additional information, contact Dr. Carla E. Alsandor at calsand@stthom.edu or 713-525-3111.