General FAQ for Mentors and Mentees
Where do I sign up?
Are all events virtual? in person?
The summer events are all online, including training and mixers. We will monitor COVID-19 safety measures and make decisions about in-person fall events as we get closer.
Where/how do I meet my mentee/mentor?
Mentors and mentees will meet using the Career Center’s online platform FirstHand. However, you are welcome to meet in person or set up meetings over calls/video platforms including Zoom or Google Hangouts. We leave the meeting logistics to the mentors and mentees so they may best work out a mutually beneficial communication plan.
I have questions or concerns. Who do I ask?
Please direct your questions or concerns to your department administrator and/or the program assistant.
1.Why are the benefits of this program for me as alumni?
Your time in the SoC program as a UConn alumni is incremental in changing UConn’s community for current students of color. We realize that perhaps your time at UConn may have left something to be desired for and hope that this opportunity for renewed engagement will offer more fulfilling experiences for yourself and future Huskies. Your commitment to the program is essential in building a safe space and community for our current students of color and helping set them up for success.
2. Is mentor training necessary? I have mentored plenty before.
We value your previous mentoring experience and welcome your wisdom to the program. However, given that our program operates with certain expectations, we ask that you participate in the mentor training to familiarize yourself with the program requirements.
3. I am not sure about the time commitment but would still like to get involved. What are my options?
We understand that mentoring is an additional time commitment along with your professional and personal obligations. Hence, we welcome you to serve as a secondary mentor OR participate in panels and in departmental activities that offer students opportunities to practice professional communication (ex: informational interviews).
4. I am a mentor but my time commitments have significantly shifted suddenly. What do I do?
If you are a primary mentor and find yourself unable to commit to the 2 hours/month requirement, please communicate with the program staff member and your mentee to ensure a smooth transition for your mentee. However, you are most welcome to participate in department events and mixers as time permits.
1.Why should I join this mentoring program?
The SoC program connects you with other students of color in your major across all of UConn’s five campuses. While this is a great opportunity to meet peers navigating similar challenges as you are, you will also have a chance to closely interact with peers in your department through specific social events. The program also connects you with alumni of color who have successfully navigated similar challenges you have faced and will be able to offer you insights and wisdom regarding mapping your plan of study, applying for internships, and charting out your career path in concrete steps.
2. What does the training consist of?
You will receive training in professional communication, which includes opportunities to practice informational interviews, a critical skill in networking. You will also learn how to make a LinkedIn profile and present yourself in written communications. Plus, you will be equipped to serve as a peer mentor to first-year and transfer students in the program. Receiving the training does NOT mean you have to serve as a peer mentor.
3. I am a junior/senior. Can I still join the program?
Yes! Absolutely! It is never too late to join the program and find your community.
4. Can I choose my mentor(s)?
Yes, you choose your mentors. We connect you with our alumni and offer different points of engagement. We encourage you to select your mentors based on your common interests, goals, experiences, and comfort level.
5. What is the time commitment?
The 3 required events in summer (Training, Program Kick off, and Mixers) are about 90 minutes each. Additionally, you should set aside 2 hours per month to meet with your mentors during the fall semester, plus an additional hour for possible department events.
6. Do I get a job out of this program?
The program itself does not guarantee a job. However, the program equips you with the skills and network that are crucial in the job search process. For example, your mentor may be able to suggest companies or roles you may be a good fit for and offer you support on crafting your materials. Your mentor may also serve as a potential professional reference where appropriate. The program offers you a safe place to master critical professionalization skills that enable you to present yourself effectively during the job search.
7. I have never mentored my peers before. Can I still do this?
That’s ok, we got you! As a student participant, you will receive peer mentoring training through the First Year Program which will equip you with the skills and knowledge to serve as an effective mentor. Plus, you can always reach out to your mentor and program coordinator with questions.
8. I am an introvert. How do I prepare myself for professional networking?
We welcome everyone in the program and offer you training and opportunities to practice professional communication skills. Working one-on-one with your mentor also counts as professional networking. While some of the experiences may be new and even outside of your comfort zone, we want to remind you that this is a safe space to put into practice what you learned. Plus, we are all about building a community so we hope you will find yourself soon amongst friends and trusted mentors.
9.What kinds of department events can I look forward to?
Each department will determine the nature and duration of the events according to the students’ needs and mentor/student availability. While this list is not comprehensive, we anticipate events that include networking, lightning talks, panel talks, and workshops relevant to your major.
10. I registered for the program. What’s next?
Thank you for registering! The program coordinator will be in touch about next steps, including the logistics of training.