Enlisting the Alumni Community
Nearly 70,000 Ship alumni have a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience to share with today’s students.
Lorie Davis ’98M, executive director of the Career, Mentoring, and Professional Development Center, had this in mind when she created the new Raiders Connect 365 Mentoring Program.
“Our alumni love to give back,” she said. “I knew that they wanted to help, and I knew a lot of them to reach out to.” Davis previously served as the director of alumni career services and outreach for over a decade.
Through the program, Ship students are matched with alumni based on career interest and geographic location.
“Our alumni can offer industry-specific advice, as well as networking opportunities. The Career Development Center staff can’t be experts in all fields, but we can connect them with professionals who are.”
Davis explained that the mentor program was designed to build a long-term, meaningful relationship between mentors and students. “This is not just a one-time conversation, but a year-long commitment.
Mentors and mentees are required to communicate at least four times a year, although they are encouraged to talk more often. Davis encourages face-to-face meetings, but students can also communicate by phone or Skype.
To date, the Career Center has forty mentor/mentee matches. Davis has received very positive feedback from participants.
Junior Kensy Philippe hopes to pursue a career in medicine, and gained valuable knowledge through a mentor experience with Dr. Luke Perry ’14, a medical resident with the Inspira Health Network.
“Working with Dr. Perry helped me understand the medical field a lot more,” Philippe said. “That allows me to have a big smile on my face when I think about my future.”
Perry said he chose to become a mentor because he understood firsthand the challenges of medical school and the application process. “When I was in my mentee’s shoes, I would have appreciated someone sharing knowledge and insight into the future and giving me constructive criticism, as well as the pros and cons about the path that I wanted to take.”
In addition to career exploration, mentees can build connections for their future success. According to industry statistics, more than 70 percent of professionals find employment through networking.