UMUC Mentor Program “Mix and Match” Event

On September 29, more than 80 UMUC students and alumni joined the UMUC Career Mentor Program either online or in-person at the Dave & Buster’s in Capitol Heights for the first “Mix and Match” Speed Mentoring Event. The event was designed to help students and alumni build professional connections while learning more about UMUC’s Career Mentor Program.

UMUC alumna and mentor Anne Alston kicked off the in-person event by sharing her experiences about the value of mentoring.  Attendees were then invited to participate in a speed mentoring session, where prospective mentees met with experienced mentors to discuss their professional goals.  Each of the 10 sessions were five minutes long. Therefore, mentees who participated in all ten rounds connected with at least 10 mentors over the course of evening.  

Online attendees were able to live chat with current mentors and Career Services and Alumni Relations staff.  They learned about the new CareerQuest Platform, which houses the UMUC’s Career Mentor Program, and exchanged valuable information about the career trends and opportunities across different industries.

Unable to join us for the event, but still want to learn more?  There are a variety of benefits of having a career mentor. A mentor can help you:

  1. Expand your professional network. These days it is just as much about who you know as it is what you know. By connecting with a mentor in your industry, you not only build a new, valuable relationship, but you also get the opportunity to tap into their professional network. You never know who they might introduce you to!
  2. Learn to think outside the box. Gaining another perspective can be a great tool for enhancing your performance in the workplace. Mentors can help you see something in a new way, which may alter how you approach certain projects or tasks. Thinking outside the box can also help when you are working with others, because it will help you see a variety of perspectives.
  3. Define and attain long-term goals. Having professional goals is important, but sometimes they are hard to define and even harder to accomplish. Mentors can help you with identifying your professional goals, and they can also help with creating a game plan for achieving them. Having a plan in place helps boost your confidence as you work toward your goals.
  4. Push past your limits. Everyone can use a cheerleader or advocate when it comes to professional development. Mentors encourage us to challenge ourselves and to keep growing, and they remind us to never stop working to be better. With a mentor as your guide, you might just surprise yourself with what you are really capable of achieving.
  5. Hold yourself accountable. Mentors will congratulate you when you do something great, but they will also give you constructive feedback when you need it. Not only will a mentor hold you accountable for reaching your goals, they will also teach you to hold yourself accountable.

Join UMUC’s Career Mentor Program today and benefit from the expertise of more than 1,200 UMUC alumni and industry experts, or become a mentor and share your own experiences.  Here’s how to get started:

UMUC students can become a mentee by:

  • Creating a CareerQuest account. Select Join Our Community and then UMUC Sign On to enter your UMUC username and password.
  • Creating your profile.
  • Selecting “Get a Mentor” from the Main Menu or click this link.

UMUC alumni can become a MENTOR by:

  • Creating a CareerQuest account.  Select Join Now and sign in using the Email or LinkedIn option.
  • Once UMUC has verified your account, you’ll receive an email telling you to complete your profile.  
  • When completing your CareerQuest profile, make sure you select that you are willing to be a “long term” mentor.  You can specify how many “long-term” mentees you are willing to mentor at any given time.

UMUC Alumni already with a CareerQuest but unsure if they signed up to be a mentor can:

  • Log into your CareerQuest account.
  • Click on the dropdown menu in the upper right corner of your screen.
  • Select Preferences.
  • Make sure to set Availability Preferences.

If you have any questions about the UMUC Career Mentor Program, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 855-278-8682 or mentor@umuc.edu.  Connect today for your success!

Kristin Schrader is the Assistant Director of InternPLUS at University of Maryland University College.  She has a background in human resources and has worked in career services at four universities.  Most recently, she was the Lead Trainer in Europe for the U.S. Department of Labor Employment Workshop teaching transitioning U.S. service members about the civilian job search.  She is passionate about helping others obtain their professional goals.