Betsy Cwenar

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Betsy Cwenar


General Arts and Sciences / Industrial Engineering

Current Position:
Project Coordinator, UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA


Q: What are some of the topics you and your mentee talk about?

We talk at least every month. If we’re in the process of working on a particular project like resume or internship preparation, we increase our communications.

We mainly talk about professional development, best classes to be taken, various places to look for jobs, or interviewing tips. We also talk about life on campus, things happening around Penn State, and future plans.


Q: Do you find it difficult to find common ground due to a generation difference?

It hasn’t been difficult to communicate. I have children around her age and that gives me experience in communicating easier with people at this age. I’m also involved in other programs in which I interact with younger generations.

I recognize some potential difficulties. Students communicate in a very casual way and sometimes it takes more experience to blend professionalism and informality.


Q: What motivated you to become a mentor?

I was interested in getting more involved back at the university in a meaningful, hands on way, and this program provided a very immediate involvement. It provides the opportunity to get to know students one-to-one.

I like to let the mentee drive the relationship, as much as they would like to utilize my experiences. Sometimes they just want to talk about first steps, and I try to help them list their options and provide feedback.

Another beneficial aspect is I can give information and suggestions from a “non-parent” role, and that I think gives them the kind of push they may not want or get from their parents.


Q: What is most fulfilling about your mentor/mentee relationship?

I think the most fulfilling aspect is getting to meet somebody and feel that I’ve been able to provide them with beneficial advice and guidance, and that you can make a difference in a student’s career path.

It is wonderful to see them grow and move along on their path as they graduate.


Find out how you can become a mentor.

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