Alumni Mentor Program
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Ryan Winthrop

Major: Psychology
Minor: Spanish, Business
Hometown: Dix Hills, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

In my search for internships and other career opportunities on the website, I came across the Alumni Mentor Program through the Career Enrichment Network. Intrigued by the description of the program and eager for the possibilities, I decided to apply to the program and was accepted.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Prior to applying to the program, I had attended an alumni picnic in my hometown, where I met a Penn State alumnus. We had a wonderful conversation and wanted to keep in touch. After being accepted to the program, I was assigned a mentor, who happened to be the person I met at the picnic. We started to send e-mails back and forth regularly, and then began our usual phone calls. We learned a little more about each other and then started to formulate my goals and objectives.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The information gained through this experience has been plentiful and greatly helpful to my academic endeavors. After my mentor outlined the paths I could take and the tasks that needed to be accomplished, I set out to bolster my academics and my resume. I took certain classes that would correlate with the careers that I am interested in. I also utilized the information to obtain a research assistant position in the Center for Language Science to utilize my Spanish skills.

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

The relationship between the mentor and the mentee is one that will be very beneficial for networking and career advice.

I am currently exploring my options for different fields in psychology. I am considering a career in Child Psychology or School Psychology, as I enjoy working with children. However, I am also considering a career in Industrial Organizational Psychology where I can utilize my business skills. My mentor, being a former school superintendent, was able to advise me how to learn more about the field of school psychology. I set up meetings with school psychologists in my district in order to learn more about what the job entails and what is needed to pursue this career. My mentor utilized his contacts to help me connect with the administration.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend the Alumni Mentor Program to any Liberal Arts student seeking information about their intended careers. The relationship between the mentor and the mentee is one that will be very beneficial for networking and career advice. This program provides mentors who care about the role they are given and want the students to achieve their goals. I speak both from experience with my own mentor and other mentors I became acquainted with during a program luncheon. The information and advice you obtain is invaluable.

For more information on the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program, visit our website.

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