How can I find a Mentor within my major?

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William from University of Tampa asked:

“While I’m on campus, how can I find a mentor within my major or a related major for guidance?”

William,

Great job taking the initiative and seeking a mentor for guidance! Below are tips to help you find a mentor during your time at UT:

1. Your Career Center or Alumni Relations Office.

These offices may have a formal mentorship program that connects you with an alumnus to serve as your mentor. When I was freshman in college, I signed up for a mentorship program, coordinated by the alumni office, which partnered me with an alumnus from my program. This relationship was valuable as I navigated my first year of college and learned more about my industry. To find out if your school has a mentorship program, I recommend contacting the Career Center and Alumni Relations Office.

2. Relationships on Campus.

Is there a professor or staff member (such as an advisor or Residential Director) that you know well? Since the individual already has an invested interest in you, they can be a helpful resource to discuss your career/academic goals and offer advice.

3. LinkedIn.

If you wish to develop a mentorship relationship with an alumnus from your program, I encourage you to utilize the LinkedIn alumni tool. On the homepage of the site, enter “University of Tampa” on the search bar. Once you select “school,” it will give you an option to “See Alumni.” On the next page, you can filter the list by choosing alumni based on their geographic location and what they studied. Next, once you have identified several professionals you which to connect with, you can send them an introductory message requesting an informational interview. I have provided an example below:

Dear Amy Smith,
I am William (last name) and currently studying (major) at UT. I came across your LinkedIn profile and found your background very interesting. Are you available for a 20-30 minute informational interview to learn more about your role as (include position) and your career path? I can meet at your earliest convenience.
Thank you in advance,
William (last name)

Once you conduct the informational interview, you don’t want to ask them to serve as your mentor right away. Rather, learn about their career path, ask for advice, build the relationship and let it happen organically.

If you have any additional questions, please schedule an appointment with UT’s Career Center here.

Best wishes finding a mentor,
Jessica


About the Author

Jessica Johnson

Jessica Johnson is a career service professional with 6 years experience advising undergraduate and graduate students. Currently, she serves as a Career Advisor of Graduate Students and Special Populations at the Universities of Shady Grove in Maryland. Prior to her current role, she was a Career Management Advisor at the Kogod School of Business at American University where she advised undergraduate business students and taught career development classes. In addition, Jessica developed employer relationships and connected them to students as a member of the employer relations team at University of Baltimore. Jessica is certified administrator of the Strong Interest Inventory assessment, Gallup- Certified Strengths Coach, and has earned the Career Development Facilitator certificate.

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