New Program Offering for UIC Engineering Alumni

Mentoring in labWe’re kicking off a mentoring program for experienced UIC College of Engineering alumni to engage with junior and senior engineering students.

What can mentoring do for you as a UIC Alumnus? Mentoring can give you an opportunity to further develop your communication and leadership skills. When sharing information about your own career path, you can provide guidance, motivation, support and role modeling. Mentoring a student offers you a way to give-back to UIC and help students become engineers.

Here are the steps to take in order to join the program:

  1. Review the program description.
  2. Complete the application, including uploading your resume here.
  3. Receive an email from the ECC, Engineering Career Center, officially welcoming you to the program.
  4. Complete the orientation materials, more information to follow.
  5. Matches will be created based on preferences you and the students have selected, rather than by major. Once this has been completed, you’ll receive an email message introducing you to the student or students you have been paired with. 
  6. Students are responsible for initiating the process and reaching out to you.

We will be back in touch to see how mentoring is progressing, but feel free to reach out to us at any time during the process.

Deadline to apply November 3, 2017 for a match to occur by early November

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:

Rose Coppola-Conroy, Director, Engineering Career Center: rcconroy@uic.edu

Patrick Devanney, Associate Director, Engineering Career Center: prd@uic.edu

 


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Mentoring, from an educational perspective, is “the fundamental form of human development where one person invests time, energy, and personal know-how assisting the growth and ability of another person” (Gordon Shea). A mentor can play many roles including coach, teacher, advocate, friend, cheerleader, and opener of doors. Though a mentor may be a role model, a true mentor does not ask another person to “be like me.” A mentor says, “I will help you become whoever you wish to be.”

PROGRAM PURPOSE

The goal of this program is to bring together students and alumni for an exchange of information on education, professionalism, aspirations and ideas. These relationships provide a learning experience for students outside the classroom, where they have a chance to see the opportunities that a professional environment has in store for them.

ALUMNI EXPECTATIONS

  • Completed a bachelor or graduate degree from the College of Engineering.
  • Complete the application and webinar orientation program.
  • Create or update your LinkedIn profile.
  • Connecting with your student can occur electronically or in-person the choice is up to you and your student.
  • Expected time commitment: connect with your student at least monthly or more if that meets both of your needs and expectations.
  • Listen to the needs and expectations of your student.
  • Work with your student to help him/her develop and establish realistic and obtainable goals.
  • Offer suggestions and feedback.
  • Keep your student focused of his/her progress.
  • Be committed to serve as a resource to your student.
  • Encourage your student to explore new areas.
  • Follow up on commitments made to your student.
  • Contact your student if you are unable to attend a scheduled meeting.
  • Complete the end-of-year evaluation.
  • Contact program staff if there is a concern with the student/mentor relationship:
    Rose Coppola-Conroy, Director, Engineering Career Center: rcconroy@uic.edu
    Patrick Devanney, Associate Director, Engineering Career Center: prd@uic.edu

STUDENT EXPECTATIONS

  • Be enrolled as a student in the College of Engineering.
  • Complete the application and attend a mandatory orientation session.
  • Create or update your LinkedIn profile.
  • While mentors can assist you with networking and discovering internship and job opportunities, the purpose of seeking a mentor is not to obtain an internship or full-time position.
  • Discuss your needs and expectations with your mentor; think about what you want out of the program prior to each meeting.
  • Negotiate ideas and activities with your mentor.
  • Be committed to carrying out agreed-upon goals and follow through.
  • Be receptive to suggestions and feedback.
  • Keep your mentor informed of progress.
  • Contact your mentor if unable to attend scheduled meetings.
  • Realize and appreciate that your mentor is volunteering their time.
  • Maintain a professional demeanor.
  • Complete the end-of-year evaluation.
  • Contact program staff if there is a concern with the student/mentor relationship:
    Rose Coppola-Conroy, Director, Engineering Career Center: rcconroy@uic.edu
    Patrick Devanney, Associate Director, Engineering Career Center: prd@uic.edu

ALUMNI AND STUDENT

  • Respect confidences and trust each other.
  • Discover common ground and respect your differences.
  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Be yourself and be flexible.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Be available on the schedule you both agree on.

HOW THE MATCHING PROCESS WILL OCCUR

  • The process starts with both Mentors and Students completing applications and orientation programs.
  • Students will rank order preferences for the type of mentoring they are seeking, e.g. information on job search strategies, course selection, success on the job, licensing exam prep, goal setting, entrepreneurship, etc.
  • The Engineering Career Center will review these preferences and create the best match possible between mentor and student.
  • Each pair will receive an email message introducing one another.
  • The student will have the responsibility to contact their mentor within one week.
  • If a mentor or student decides to withdraw from the program, they must notify the Engineering Career Center as soon as possible.
  • If a student or mentor believes the relationship is not working, please notify the Engineering Career Center as soon as possible.

MENTORS – SUGGESTED QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR STUDENT

  • How did you choose your current major and what do you like about your studies?
  • Are you involved with engineering student organizations or other groups on campus?
  • Have your completed an internship or research opportunity related to your future career?
  • What are your plans for your future career?
  • How would you like to connect, via email, Skype, in-person?

STUDENTS – SUGGESTED QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR MENTOR

  • What is your job title and basic responsibilities on the job?
  • How did you obtain your current or past positions?
  • What are the most challenging and satisfying parts of your work?
  • How does your occupation affect your personal life?
  • What changes or advancements do you see happening in engineering overall?
  • If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?
  • What did you like best about UIC?
  • How did UIC shape your career?

DO’S AND DON’T’S OF MENTORING

  • Do assist your student in exploring and problem solving as opposed to finding answers for them.
  • Do encourage students to seek tutoring with on-campus resources.
  • Do offer to review resumes and cover letters, prepare for interviews, if you regularly do this as part of your job.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

  • Get to know one another – discuss your backgrounds, interests and goals.
  • Engage in career conversations – company cultures, connecting academics to job requirements.
  • Utilize email, phone calls, Skype, or in-person meetings to ask questions and provide insights.
  • Attend a professional networking, professional association, or UIC event together.
  • Remember to enjoy your mentoring relationship, keep an open mind and prepare to be inspired.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:
Rose Coppola-Conroy, Director, Engineering Career Center: rcconroy@uic.edu
Patrick Devanney, Associate Director, Engineering Career Center: prd@uic.edu