Alumni Mentor Program
Thank you for your interest in the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Mentor program. Due to an overwhelming response we have closed the form to accept new mentors at this time. We hope to expand the program in the future.
The program is intended to allow College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Scholars to benefit personally and professionally from the experiences of our college’s alumni. The program is not intended to focus on employment opportunities, but is about teachable moments and encouragement.
- To provide current Leadership Scholars an opportunity to learn from experienced professionals. This relationship may assist the student with his or her career selection process.
- To take advantage of the valuable professional resource base that exists among our alumni friends of the College of Arts and Sciences.
- To reintegrate alumni to the University of Oklahoma by engaging them with current undergraduates on a 1:1 in-person level, providing guidance about the student’s course of study and offering insight for personal growth.
Alumni and students are free to determine how they should meet or communicate based on what works best for each pair. Meetings can be informal as meeting for coffee or lunch, or sending a short email to each other. The College will provide opportunities each semester for alumni and students to meet at College sponsored events but we strongly encourage each pair to meet outside of those events as well.
The duration of the mentoring program commitments will begin when students are first paired and will last through the academic year. If suitable to both the student and mentor, the mentor relationship can extend until the student graduates. All attempts are made to maintain Alumni/Leadership Scholar mentoring relationships each year that the student remains in the program. If any changes are made, College staff will promptly notify mentors and students. Mentor/mentee reassignments will occur as needed.
Mentors will complete an online profile that includes information on your degree, organizations you were involved with while at OU, as well as your current profession and hobbies or interests. Students will then be given a login to review profiles to assist staff in pairing with mentors. All contact information will remain confidential until pairs are assigned and staff distributes the contact information to the mentor and student.
Alumni Mentors are expected to serve as role models for students by modeling success both personally and professionally. Alumni are asked to mentor one or more Leadership Scholars by communicating via e-mail, phone, or personal visits. Successful mentor relationships depend on communication from both the mentor and the mentee. In order to get the most from your relationship, we ask that you commit to at least three interactions with your Leadership Scholar each semester. Again, these interactions may occur by e-mail, phone, or personal visits. In addition to the College’s structured opportunities to interact with mentees, you may also:
- Arrange to meet with your Scholar when you are visiting the OU campus or Norman.
- Invite your Scholar to attend an OU activity or event with you.
- Try to attend one or more Leadership Scholars events or activities. (We will provide you with a list of events and dates.)
- Invite your Scholar to visit your home.
- Write a letter of recommendation for your Scholar.
- Put your Scholar in contact with friends and acquaintances who have expertise in your Scholar’s area of interest.
- Invite your Scholar to visit your place of business, share industry career path insights.
- Share advice on soft skills such as resumes, interviewing, navigating politics, and the “real world”.
Mentors are asked to make every reasonable effort to attend College of Arts and Sciences events with their mentee(s). Mentors are encouraged to plan and schedule individual meetings (e.g., lunch, dinner, coffee, etc.), when possible. Mentors are expected to personally, or professionally, pay for their portion of the individual meetings and may pay for the mentee’s portion if appropriate. Mentees are not expected to pay for the mentor’s portion.
Mentees are expected to attend scheduled opportunities to interact with mentors through the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, mentees are expected to be courteous and respectful to the mentor at all times. This includes being prompt in returning all communications, being punctual to all events and meetings and being well prepared for the individual meetings. Mentees are expected to follow-up with mentors during the mentorship period if individual meetings are not being scheduled. Remember that you can learn a lot from your mentoring relationship and, as with most things, you will get out of it what you put into it.
The mentee is prohibited from consuming alcohol in the presence of the mentor during the mentorship period. While we encourage close relationships between mentors and Leadership Scholars, mentees are prohibited from asking the mentor for money or other personal financial support. Mentors serve as a resource of information and to share personal and professional insight and advice and are not expected to provide or assist students in finding employment.
While we do our best to match Leadership Scholars with Alumni Mentors based on professional interest, hometown, or another commonality, there are still numerous ways to have a great relationship with your mentor if he/she is not working in your field of interest. In addition, as a Leadership Scholar, you have access to other members of the Board of Visitors and Alumni Mentors at College of Arts and Sciences events. So, utilize your resources and start networking! Here are some examples of ways you can reach out to your mentor:
- Invite your mentor to attend an OU activity or event with you.
- Ask your mentor for personal or professional advice and inquire about internship/shadowing opportunities. If your mentor is in a profession different from your own interests, perhaps he or she knows someone in your area of interest.
- Ask your mentor to meet you for lunch or coffee on campus. Meetings like this are great ways to get to know one another outside of formal settings.