For SC&I students searching for established and successful professionals who can provide expert career guidance and advice, and share best practices for expanding their networking communities, the new SC&I Links Mentorship Program is the answer.
The program is designed to connect students with mentors from among a group of 50 successful professionals in SC&I-related fields, all of whom are either SC&I alumni or affiliated with SC&I in some capacity. The program is also structured to empower students by enabling them to select the professional(s) they would like to work with.
The mentors will provide students with up-to-date information about their fields; help them to develop career readiness skills and identify the best career paths for them based upon their skills, interests, and aspirations; expand their networking opportunities; and more.
Assistant Director of Student Services for Careers, Ildi Koczan, in the SC&I Office of Student Services, who helped design and launch the new program, said “it is a fast, flexible, open platform where students can control the mentor selection based on their needs. Students are in the driver’s seat so they can build the relationships they want with mentors, and make it work for both of them. Students can control the conversation and either choose to work with many mentors at once and /or develop an ongoing coaching relationship with a mentor. We hope this more flexible approach will work better for this generation of students who are more likely to be interested in exploring many different career options, and thus will need many mentors from different fields to guide and advise them.”
Although Koczan said she has been working on its development for two years, it lost momentum during the Covid-19 pandemic. “We have now crystallized our mentor base and our goals, and we are very pleased that we could officially launch it last month,” she said.
Koczan said many of her colleagues, in addition to Radford, also deserve much credit for the success of the project. They are, Katrina Zwaaf, president of the SC&I Alumni Association, Marty Seiderer secretary of the SC&I Alumni Association, recent SC&I alumna association member, and SC&I career services assistants Deion Wright, and Gladys Cepeda, John Bowen, web developer in SC&I IT Services who built the platform, and Ivanok Tavarez, application developer at Rutgers University’s Office of Information Technology.
Information sessions on the program are being planned for both students and mentors, and all mentors will be invited to the annual SC&I Mingle being held in December 2021, Koczan said. Look for details to come on SC&I’s social media platforms and announcements via email.
“We are calling this the ‘Pilot Plus Year’ for the program,” Koczan said, “because we are still interested in learning from students how helpful it is, so we can continue to refine and perfect it. We will hold a debrief session with mentors and mentees in a month or so to be able to gain feedback.”
For questions about registration, or for additional information, contact Koczan here.