Finding The Mentorship Program That Works For You
Navigating the academic and professional terrain can be a challenge for many students. Not only are you expected to get involved in extracurricular activities and maintain a solid GPA throughout the school year, but you’re expected to make moves professionally to advance your career outside of that as well.
The struggle to maintain a strong academic career and combine it with a budding professional one is almost too much to bear at times. Without proper guidance, questions go unanswered.
When should you look for internships? Is it too late to apply for a scholarship? Should you go into for-profit or non-profit? How do you “adult?”
Thankfully, all of these questions and many more can be answered, in part, through Penn State’s mentorship programs. Several different Penn State organizations provide students with the opportunity to leverage the influence of the Penn State Alumni Network by pairing them up with alumni.
It’s a great opportunity all undergrads can take advantage of, if they so choose. So, for your convenience, we’ll run through a couple of the most popular ones below:
Many of the academic colleges at Penn State offer mentorship programs for students within their college. If you’re looking for a mentor to guide you professionally in your chosen career field, this can be a great opportunity for you.
Some students work with their mentor in person, others over the phone, and others simply via email. But beyond just the mentors themselves, the types of people they can connect you with in their social network can be a huge benefit as well. Networking, no matter how early on you are in your career, can serve as an advantage over competition.
A few of the academic colleges with the most popular mentorship programs, and links to those programs, are listed below:
- Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program
- The College of Health and Human Development Mentoring
- College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Mentoring Program
- Smeal College of Business Mentoring Program
- The College of Education Alumni-Student Mentoring
Penn State Student Affairs — LGBTQ+
When we think of mentorship programs, we often think of them in a professional sense, but that’s not always the case. Penn State’s Student Affairs offers a mentorship program for those who identify as LGBTQ+.
The program pairs graduate students who identify as LGBTQ+ with another LGBTQ+ student at Penn State. Graduate student mentors are paired with mentees to offer emotional support, assistance setting goals, and guidance through sexual and gender identity development.
The program’s goal is to offer a sense of support while simultaneously encouraging health and wellness through campus and community engagement. If you’re interested in becoming a mentor or mentee yourself, don’t hesitate to check out the LGBTQ+ mentor program.
BLUEprint Peer Mentoring
BLUEprint is a peer mentoring program focused on offering cultural, social, and academic support to students of color. In particular, the program seeks to help those who are first-year or transfer/change-of-campus students still finding their way around.
All BLUEprint mentors participate in training sessions to foster the necessary skills and knowledge to position them for the role. The goal of the mentorship program is to match-up mentors with mentees to foster positive and meaningful interactions between them. Mentors help mentees successfully acclimate and thrive at Penn State.
For more information on the program, check out the BLUEprint Peer Mentoring page.
Much like with the academic colleges, club programs offer members the chance to network with club alumni in their chosen field. These programs are usually only offered through clubs that fall in line with specific major areas, such as the AD/PR club, but they’re still great opportunities to take advantage of.
While it’s a bit harder to pinpoint the clubs with mentorship programs for your major, it’s not impossible. If you ask advisors in your college or talk to friends in your major, they can serve as great resources to find the club and mentorship program that best suits you.
If you’re mentorship program isn’t listed here, but you’d like it to be, email Emma Dieter for inclusion.
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About the Author
As THON weekend approaches, a fundraising year like no other in THON history wraps up.
“Whether this team is a No. 3 seed or or a No. 4 seed, they’re going to have a real opportunity to be in the Sweet Sixteen. If you’re a Penn State basketball fan, that’s like the Final Four. That week of hype and attention gives a team a brand.”
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