The National Alumni Association, in collaboration with the Career Development Center, provides current FAU undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to be mentored by an alumnus/a that shares similar academic or professional interests. This program was established to provide students access to valuable resources that cannot be found in books.

The goal of the Professional Mentoring Program is strictly informational and is not meant to be used as a means to find a job.  Once a student is matched with an appropriate mentor, the student (mentee) will be given the option of either having the mentor make initial contact or vice versa. All mentors will receive notification of who their mentee will be, and who will be responsible for initial contact before the mentoring period begins. A suggested schedule between the mentee and mentor is listed below.

These meetings can be held via telephone, instant messenger, email, or in person. The purpose of these meetings is to build a foundation to strengthen the mentee’s professional goals. Each meeting will revolve around a suggested theme:

Meeting 1: Emphasis is on assisting the student with self assessment.

  • Mentors are encouraged to share stories of undergraduate and graduate experiences related to academic coursework or professional development.
  • Mentors should help the mentee develop an understanding of self (i.e. interests, skills, values, personal traits, and desired lifestyle) and how it applies to achieving his/her professional goals.
  • Mentors are to assist the mentee in understanding how his or her interests relate to various occupations, career fields, and the current job market.

Meeting 2: Career related discussion with an emphasis on the day-to-day business operations encountered by the mentor. (This is an opportunity to ask questions about what his/her mentor does and for the mentor to share his/her career experiences.)

Meeting 3: Strategic Discussion on the development of a career plan for the protégé

  • Mentors may assist the mentee in exploring avenues for networking (i.e. professional associations, conferences, workshops etc.).
  • Mentors can suggest job hunting strategies to the mentee.
  • Mentors may offer assistance with resume and interviewing questions.

Your mentor is looking forward to hearing from you and is excited about helping you obtain information to make informed career decisions. This is your chance to explore fields of interest, potential career opportunities and a variety of industries.

To help you make the most of your experience, please follow the directions below which are appropriate for your desired type of contact.

Before and After the Visit

  • Call your mentor and introduce yourself. Ask to arrange a mutually convenient date and time for a visit. Give your mentor at least two weeks notice for your request.
  • At the end of your conversation, be sure to thank your mentor for his/her time and assistance.
  • Ask for directions to the meeting location.
  • Be professional in your tone and in the content of your discussion.
  • Ask your mentor for information about his/her company or obtain the company's web site address so you can prepare for your visit.
  • Prepare a list of questions in advance (use the informational interviewing sheet as a guideline).
  • Call your mentor the day before your scheduled visit to confirm details. (If, for any reason, you are unable to follow through with an in-person visit, you must notify your mentor immediately).
  • After visiting your mentor, please send a Thank You Letter (sample letter attached) commenting on the information or discussions that were most meaningful to you.

Contacting Your Mentor by Phone

  • If you are making a phone contact only, please be sure to ask if you have contacted him/her at a convenient time. If not, schedule a date and time to call again.
  • Ask your mentor for information about his/her company or obtain the company's web site address so you can prepare for your visit.
  • Prepare a list of questions in advance (use informational interviewing sheet as a guideline).
  • Be professional, both in your tone and in the content of your discussion.
  • At the end of your conversation, be sure to thank your mentor for his/her time and assistance.
  • Remember to send a Thank You Letter (sample letter attached) commenting on the information or discussion that was most meaningful to you.

Sample Script

When using phone, e-mail or meeting in person, prepare a brief introduction of yourself (this information tells the mentor who you are and how he/she can assist you):

  • For example, you might say, "Hi, my name is Gloria Smith and I am a junior at FAU, majoring in Computer Science. I am currently exploring the various places people with a computer science background might work. I read your profile and I am interested in learning more about the work you are currently doing at XYZ Co. I would like to learn more about you and the career choices you have made.”
  • Prepare a brief list of three to four well thought out questions (refer to the list of Informational Interviewing Questions to ask). When your mentor answers your questions, respond, to him/her as soon as possible (if corresponding via email) and include additional questions you may have. This may help you develop a relationship that allows you to contact your mentor again if you have more questions or other topics you would like to discuss. The key is to keep your requests to a minimum; make it as easy as possible for your mentor to respond to you and remember to say thank you!

After meeting, talking or corresponding by e-mail with your mentor, the Career Development Center can help you identify the next step that is right for you and assist you with researching other options. Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to further discuss your career options and goals.