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Become a Mentor

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For more information on the Alumni Mentor Program, please contact:

Ellen Konkle
Associate Director of Alumni Relations

Email: Office Phone: (814) 571-0576

Lauren Granese
Student and Alumni Relations Coordinator

Office Phone: (814) 865-1070

230 new student-alumni mentor matches were made during the 2019–20 academic year.

What is a mentor?

A teacher, career guide, role model, sponsor, and challenger.

Mentors can:

  • Advise students on how to successfully navigate their way through Penn State by providing support and encouragement.
  • Teach students about the importance of networking.
  • Assist students in bridging the gap between college life and working life.
  • Provide developmental feedback on strengths and weaknesses.

Alumni Wanted

Professionals today have so much desire to give back, but often can't find the time to do it. This program is perfect for you, because it's flexible to match your schedule. It's spread out over enough time to keep the pace energetic but not frenetic.

The Alumni Mentor Program is designed for juniors and seniors in the College of the Liberal Arts and runs through graduation.

The Mentorship Experience

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Mentorships vary—some students are highly self-aware and clearly identify the areas with which they need assistance, while others are less well-developed and may need help identifying their skills and applying their experiences and interests to post-college planning. Most are initially quite intimidated at meeting their mentor and tend to forget that you were once in their shoes. Their focus varies, their plans change, many are incredibly busy, and like the rest of us, sometimes crises arise.

Strong mentors are intentional about their mentoring role and sensitive and flexible to their mentee’s needs. They seek to make the mentorship a good one by investing time and energy to get to know their mentee and deliberately and proactively offer the career guidance and emotional support most useful to their mentee. Mentors may have to challenge or push their mentee sometimes, and they may need to back off at other times.

The Office of Alumni Relations and Development arranges the initial meeting, with a facilitator, on campus or in some cases by phone or video-chat (Zoom, Facetime, Skype, etc.). Mentor and mentee handbooks guide you through the steps to draft an action plan and schedule your next steps together.

As a mentor you are asked to:

  • Meet your mentee at least once per month in person, by phone, or online via video-chat.
  • Complete a written mentorship plan—a compact—with your student, to be submitted to the program manager.
  • Complete three-month, six-month, and end-of-year program surveys. These brief online surveys are an important monitoring and program quality tool.

*Internships and job placement opportunities are NOT expected to be a regular part of this program.

Resources and Support

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Registration: The Matching Process

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Quality matches are at the heart of successful mentorships, and matches are based on career areas, geography, shared interests, and more. With hundreds of alumni and students interested in participating, registration is required. The online form only takes five–ten minutes to complete.

Registration is open year-round, and matches are made every fall and spring semester.

Become a Mentor Now — Click Here to Register

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