Whether you are transitioning into a new career field or looking for advice on how to climb the corporate ladder in your current profession, mentorship can be a great avenue for expanding your professional network and identifying the direction in which you want to take your career. While having a mentor is a great idea for both your personal and professional growth, knowing where to begin to find the right person to offer such guidance may be a bit challenging.
To give UMUC students and alumni a platform to connect, the University launched an online, career-based mentor program. The UMUC Mentor Program provides opportunities for students and alumni to connect with alumni mentors and industry professionals. Once a connection is established, the door is opened for giving and receiving advice, sharing ideas and knowledge, and even collaborating with one another.
Shawn Springer ‘15 graduated from UMUC last August with a business administration degree. He used the Mentor Program to find a mentor who could help him navigate his transition into the civilian workforce after he completes his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Springer sought after the expertise Air Force veteran and bachelor’s in communication alumnus Kirk Clear ‘03.
Even though the Mentor Program is virtual, Springer and Clear try to meet in-person when possible. Whether meeting for lunch or a round of golf, Clear, who served as the UMUC Alumni Association president from 2007 to 2008, tries to provide advice and additional networking opportunities that will help Springer become a well-rounded business professional.
UMUC’s Mentor Program has two types of mentor connections. Mentors and mentees can connect through speed mentoring, which is a one-time 30 minute meeting. This option allows mentors and mentees to meet to see if there is a strong enough connection to then explore the possibility of working together to complete the University’s traditional mentor connection. The traditional mentor connection allows the mentor to guide the mentee through a series of milestones that will help the mentee achieve his or her career goals by the end of the program. Both types of connections allow the exchange of giving and receiving advice, sharing ideas and knowledge, and even collaborating with one another.
Mentorship can be a powerful tool in helping you achieve your career goals. Click here to learn more about UMUC’s Mentor Program and find out how you can test drive this program today.
Jennifer Tomasovic is the director, Communications for Career and Alumni Services at University of Maryland University College. She has spent her career crafting communications strategies and messaging using both marketing and public relations tactics to enhance the brand and reputation for both the clients and organizations she has represented.