Chatham University

Welcome Aboard - Chatham Mentorship Program

Mentor

We're eager to connect, you, our valued alumni and local professionals with our impressive Chatham students. With academic offerings providing a strong foundation, and your advice and guidance providing the context for their learning, Chatham students are sure to have an "edge" over the competition.

The Welcome Aboard Mentorship Program is Chatham's newest development in preparing our students for the professional world.

Welcome Aboard offers students the chance to be matched with a professional mentor who will be a guide as they take the next step in developing their career path. The program is available to students starting their first semester at Chatham University.

Application for the 2017 program is available here.

But we need you. Our students need you.

Our students need you to share your experience, offer support, and provide guidance to them. We need you to be the person who will help a student envision what their future might look like. We need you to help a student learn from mistakes and build on successes.

More information?

Contact Lauren Tudor, Coordinator for Career Development - External Relations at l.tudor@chatham.edu or 412-365-2762.

Welcome Aboard Mentorship Program

+ What is the Welcome Aboard program?

The Welcome Aboard Mentorship Program offers students the chance to be matched with a Chatham Alumni or local professional - like you! - who will share their experience, offer support, and provide guidance. The program is available to students in their first year at Chatham.

+ Why is this program important?

Mentoring programs like Welcome Aboard helps students take their goal-setting and career planning to a new level by pairing them with a mentor. In particular, the professional development experience that is required in the program gives students the opportunity to develop strong networking skills and/or see if a particular field is best-suited for them. Most importantly, though, the Welcome Aboard Mentorship program is flexible enough to meet each student's personal needs! Each mentor and mentee team will have the chance to develop a professional relationship that works best for them.

+ What benefits will I get from mentoring?

We know that lots of Alumni and friends of Chatham simply want to give back to the institution and this is a unique way to do just that. Your time and talents are valuable gifts and are appreciated by the students. Being a mentor provides many opportunities for professional development. It can renew your enthusiasm for your role as expert in your field and help you enhance your coaching, counseling, listening, and modeling skills. Mentoring can help you to develop your personal leadership style and give you the chance to share your knowledge. Additionally, working as a mentor can help you increase your generational awareness and remind you of the barriers faced by college students and graduates hoping to enter the contemporary workforce. For more information on mentoring best practices and the benefits of the mentoring relationship, you can consult the resources provided by the United States Office of Personnel Management.

+ What characteristics does a good mentor have?

Two characteristics shared by all successful mentors are good management skills and the ability to build interpersonal relationships and trust. A good mentor understands their student's needs, strengths, and abilities and uses this knowledge to delegate feasible tasks that will supplement their college experience. They should also nurture each student's self-sufficiency and encourage them to take part in relevant professional development opportunities. In addition to being a source of professional knowledge, a good mentor is relatable, available and approachable, enthusiastic, respectful, and cognizant of a student's need for structure and guidance. And, of course, you'll want to stay in touch with your mentee and attend any required Welcome Aboard program events!

+ Who will I be matched with?

The best student for you! As a mentor, you will be matched with a Chatham student starting their first semester of college. A match will typically put you in contact with a student who has a similar path of study or career goal to your own, or a student who might share your interests and/or co-curricular experiences.

+ How does the matching process work?

Our matching process is based on a number of criteria, including: a student’s major, career interests, and professional goals plus your current position, career path, degree, and additional interests. We pride ourselves on sometimes making creative connections between our mentors and mentees. While some students are embarking on a career path well-suited to their major, others may come to you from a non-traditional field of study seeking more information about your profession. You might also include fun facts about your personal career path on your application, such as co-curricular activities or outside organizations you serve, that make you a good match for a particular student.

+ What is the time commitment?

All Welcome Aboard mentors are expected to attend a one-hour orientation session at the beginning of the semester and to meet with their mentee either virtually or in-person once a month. We'll kick the program off with a Reception Event on Thursday, September 7, and culminate with the Closing Dinner in April. Additionally, we encourage you to take part in campus events that will bring you closer to your mentee and the Welcome Aboard Mentorship team as a whole. You can find a list of those events here.

+ What services can I provide as a mentor?

While services may vary on a case-by-case basis, it's generally expected that Welcome Aboard mentors will provide their mentees with professional and/or personal support and guidance, including a professional development opportunity. This may include an informational interview, a lunch on the town, job shadow experience, or attending a business related event.

+ What topics will my mentee and I discuss?

Some topics you can discuss with your mentee include: personal and professional goals, interests and skill sets, how the college experience translates to the workplace, how to be best prepared for entering the workforce, how to write a good resume and cover letter for a job in your professional field, what cutting-edge skills are becoming more important in your profession, and many others.

+ How do I apply to be a mentor?

All you have to do is fill out a short application here and we will follow up with you via email.

+ Where can I go for more information?

Other than the Career Development website, you can ask the Welcome Aboard program coordinators for more information. They are: Dr. Zauyah Waite, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students; Dr. Mary Utter, Assistant Dean of Students; Dana DePasquale, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations; and Lauren Tudor, Coordinator of Career Development - External Relations. You can also visit the Office of Career Development at Chatham's Shadyside campus on the basement floor of the JKM Library.

+ Other than communicating with my mentee, are there any other requirements?

The requirements for being a Welcome Aboard mentor are:

  • Attending a one–hour training session at the beginning of the semester
  • Communicating with your mentee once a month, virtually or in person
  • Providing a professional development opportunity or other activity that give your mentee an experience in a workplace

+ Do I need to be a Chatham alum to be a mentor?

No! We're especially proud to connect our current students with successful members of the Chatham alumni community, but any professional working in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area can apply to be a mentor.

+ I can’t get in touch with my mentee. What should I do?

First, try reaching out to one of the Welcome Aboard program coordinators to ensure that the contact information you have for your mentee is correct. We'll attempt to successfully reconnect you if communication breaks down.

+ I’m worried about my mentee. What should I do?

Contact one of the Welcome Aboard program coordinators with any concerns that you have about your mentee. We'll be able to connect them with any on- or off-campus resources they may need.

+ Upon communicating, my mentee and I don’t seem like an ideal match. What should we do?

We're confident in our matching system, but in the rare event that you and your mentee don't seem like an ideal match you can reach out to the Welcome Aboard program coordinators. First we'll consult with you about why we made the match in the first place, and then we'll reassign mentors and mentees as necessary.