“I was lucky enough to have many excellent mentors early on in my career,” said Carey Brechting ‘16 grad and Alumni Mentor Network mentor. “If I would have had a mentor while in school, I can only imagine the benefits, connections and relationships that would have helped me prosper back then.”
There are many reasons why both mentors and mentees decide to participate in the Alumni Mentor Network, but one thing they all have in common is the value they receive by sharing their stories and learning from someone who’s walked in their shoes.
2019 marked the second year of Davenport’s Alumni Mentor Network program. Consumers Credit Union and Davenport’s Alumni Board of Directors were sponsors once again. This year, the program connected 20 pairs of students and alums for one common goal.
“To pass on some knowledge and life advice,” as Ross Melinn ‘15 and two-year mentor put it.
The six-month program consisted of one-on-one meetings between the mentors and mentees to discuss topics such as goal setting, resumes, finances and even possible internship opportunities. Lunch and learn events, where students and alumni had an exclusive opportunity to network and learn first-hand from area employers, were hosted by Consumers Credit Union, Metro Health Foundation and Gordon Food Services.
“This program not only partnered me with a mentor that helped me better understand life in the workforce after college but also provided me with connections in the workforce,” said DU senior Sammy Miedema. “Additionally, the lunch and learns provided insight on various topics that were relatable for students with long college careers ahead of them as well as those who will be graduating in the spring.”
“The mentors are professional and helpful. They can help students see what they have yet to see in real life versus what they learn in school,” MBA student Phuong Tran said. “This program also helps students get ideas about how networking works before graduating, so they can be better prepared when they search for a job.”
These relationships are beneficial for mentors, too. Mentor Jon Krueger ‘17 commented, “I enjoy building relationships with the students. I have the opportunity to grow just as much as my mentee does and that has been very fulfilling.”
The DU Alumni Association works to grow the Alumni Mentor Network each year. In the 2019 academic year, new mentor/mentee pairings and various lunch and learn opportunities were added. If you’d like to get involved as a volunteer for the Alumni Mentor Network, please contact Laura Macka at Laura.Macka@davenport.edu.