Alumni Mentoring: Alumni


This program connects English department undergraduate students with alumni in  two different ways:

Informational Interviewing

Students who are beginning to think about potential career paths can use our Alumni Mentoring Directory to identify alumni whom they can ask for an informational interview, by telephone or Skype (or in person if circumstances permit),  for insight into potential career paths and strategies for success.   

Professional Mentoring

Students who would like additional mentoring from an alumna or alumnus whom they have informationally interviewed can ask them to take part in our formal Professional Mentoring Program. Both the alumna/us (the mentor) and the student (the mentee) sign an agreement that commits them to conversing each month on Skype for six months, completing a resume review, and completing a post-mentorship reflection at the end of the six-month period.


Expectations of Alumni:

  • Be prepared to serve as a resource for students who contact you.
  • Offer advice on matters of professional development, college success, and careers.
  • Follow through on commitments you make by signing a mentoring agreement
  • Listen to the needs and expectations of students reaching out to you
  • Communicate in a timely fashion.
  • Follow up on any commitments you make to students.
  • Alert Kirstin Wilcox ( to any problems that arise.

Expectations of Students:

  • Take responsibility for  initiating contact with alumni mentors.
  • Be receptive to suggestions and feedback.
  • Communicate your goals and the help you seek in achieving them.
  • Follow through on commitments you make by signing a mentoring agreement.
  • Realize that having experienced professionals to learn from is a privilege.
  • Conduct yourself professionally
  • Seek advice and tips, but do not ask for jobs or internships.
  • Alert Kirstin Wilcox ( to any problems that arise.


How to Get Started

If you wish to join the network, email Kirstin Wilcox ( to let her know of your interest.. You will be asked  to send in a short biography and the email address you prefer students use.

Once your information is in the online directory, it is up to students to contact you for an informational interview. All initial contact from students will take place by email.  



Informational Interviewing

Joining the Alumni Mentoring Network commits you to taking part in Informational Interviews with students: one-time conversations in which students, as part of their career exploration, ask questions of you. Students who wish to have an informational interview with you will ask via email to you.

Informational interviews help students learn about potential career paths, industries, and organizations. Such conversations with potential mentors are also a way for them to practice workplace communication skills. Some students are more comfortable with networking than others, and your ability to model professional interaction will be helpful to them. It is up to the student to ask questions and direct the conversation, but you should feel free to lend whatever guidance feels comfortable to you.  


Professional Mentoring (NEW in 2016-17)

Students who have conducted informational interviews with alumni have the option of asking one to be a professional mentor. You will be invited by an individual student to take part in the professional mentoring program.  You can turn down a Professional Mentoring request if you will be unable or unwilling to commit to the six-month mentoring relationship. As a mentor you will

  1. Talk via Skype (or in person, if possible) with your student at least once a month for  30 minutes each time (6 conversations over the period of the mentoring agreement).
  2. Review your student’s resume (before the fourth Skype conversation).
  3. Practice some interview questions (during the fourth or fifth Skype conversation)
  4. If geographically feasible, allow  your student to shadow you at work for half a day during Thanksgiving or Spring break (whichever falls during your mentoring agreement)

At the end of the six months, you will be asked to fill out a brief evaluation of the experience.  Although the formal arrangement is at an end at that point, you are welcome to remain in touch informally with your mentee.