You’ve Got Skills! How Do You Want to Use Them?

OVP_VolunteerFair_webThere are many excellent, other-directed, and altruistic reasons to volunteer: you know that already.  How about a cravenly self-serving reason?  Volunteering can teach you to apply your excellent communication and problem-solving skills to the needs of an organization.

Whether or not you end up with a useful line for your resume, you can learn more about the contributions you are specifically suited to make to any kind of organization.  Do you prefer working with people or things?  Do you like to be out front and center with an organization, or do you work better behind the scenes?  Are you better working with others one-on-one, or do you thrive in a team or group setting?  Are you better at helping an organization raise money, or helping an organization figure out how to spend it most effectively?

Volunteering can help you get answers to these kinds of questions. Knowing these things about yourself can help position you for the job you want after graduation.

The Volunteer Fair takes place Tuesday, September 1, from 10:30 to 1:30 in I-Rooms A, B, C, at the Illini Union.  

Department of English Alumni Mentoring Network


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

Informational Interviewing

Students who 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.


Have questions?  Email Kirstin Wilcox, Director of Internships (


Pygmalion: Come for the music, stay for the LIT + TECH

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The Pygmalion Festival started out in 2005 with a handful of touring and local bands. Now entering its eleventh year, it’s featured hundreds of musical and literary artists from around the world performing on dozens of stages around Champaign­-Urbana.

In 2015, the festival planners will implement and integrate an entire Tech component into the mix. Panelists, speakers, demonstrations, interactive opportunities and student recruitment will take place against the backdrop of festival music and readings.

For more information, see the literature lineup here and the tech lineup here.