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Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program
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Todd Kahn

Todd Kahn

Major: Labor Studies and Employment Relations
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Roxbury, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I originally learned about this experience through the Liberal Arts Newswire. This Newswire always contains a wide variety of useful information for Liberal Arts students, and one day I was scrolling through and saw information about an info session to receive a mentor. I was in desperate need for career advice at the time, and I thought this would be a great learning opportunity. The rest is history!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience in the Mentor Program has been amazing. The College truly does match you up with a mentor that fits your needs, interests and goals. My mentor was in one of the same organizations I am currently in at Penn State, and our interests match up more often than not. My mentor came in at the perfect time because I was just about to start the ever-stressful internship search. I really was not sure where to start, how to format my resume, how to handle interviews, etc. and my mentor filled those gaps immediately! She definitely challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and push myself beyond I thought I was able to. Through mock interviews, cover letter and resume reviews, and all around career advice, I felt more than confident applying to companies and going through the interview process. I can truly say I would not have gotten the internship I had this past summer if it were not for everything my mentor helped me with.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The great part of Human Resources is that there are so many different facets. As a result, there is much variety when picking classes for students in my major (LER). After expressing my particular interests, my mentor recommended classes I could take to test out my interests and see where I find my passion the most. I always took her advice and it was a great help in gaining a better understanding of what field I could potentially go down once I graduated. She always expressed how it is better to experiment in college with different career paths so I will have more confidence in finding a job once graduation hit. I never really understand why she would say that, but now that I am looking for a full-time job, I have such a better understanding of what career would be more fit for my interests. The classes I took at Penn State were a huge factor in helping me discover my true career interests!

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals include starting off in a Human Resources related job and eventually earning my Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. The Mentor Program re-affirmed my love for HR and how much you could do in this field. My mentor has held a wide variety of jobs in various HR specialties, and that was a great perspective to be shown to me. I am not exactly sure what field of HR I want to go into yet, and my mentor gave me a large amount of potential career opportunities (as well as explaining how she got to the job she currently holds). Overall, it was very helpful to have someone who has gone through it already provide advice to someone who is just getting his or her feet wet. She has been a major help in my career search.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend the Mentor Program! I considered it almost like having a "work mom" who had all the answers to my never-ending questions. I haven't heard of a mentor that was not extremely eager to help their mentee achieve greatness, and mine did just that! I worked at a Fortune 100 company (Liberty Mutual) and I was more than prepared throughout the process to get to that point because of my mentor. You definitely have to put in the time to make your time with your mentor significant and beneficial, and you will not regret it!

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