On Sept. 19, Arcadia University students and alumni filled the spacious Commons Meeting Room for a round robin-style speed-networking event organized by the Honors Program and the Office of Alumni Relations, with guidance from the Office of Career Education. The event launched an ongoing initiative that will connect 54 Honors students with 33 alumni mentors, who were recruited through an application process.
After listening to opening remarks by Dr. Steve Michael, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, students began introducing themselves to their new professional contacts. By the end of the night, each student had shared their academic and career goals and interests with all the alumni on hand, on the way to finding the right mentor-mentee match.
Both students and alumni were thrilled with the turnout and recognized the importance of the opportunity. “The most inspiring idea of the entire program is that these mentors have never met us before, but they have had such positive mentorship experiences that they want to pass it on to us,” said Jayson Flores ’14. “It’s amazing to think that many of us could be those mentors sitting across from Arcadia students years from now.”
Melanie Martin ’15 said the event “was one step in the right direction for getting on the path toward my career goals. By meeting new people who have had more life experience than me, I am hoping to gain insight, knowledge and wisdom from them to assist me in making good decisions as I proceed through my education and career.”
“I was so energized to hear the students talk about their experiences, not just in class, but being part of campus groups and going abroad,” said Kristin (Ellis) Stetler ’92. “These students are so passionate about their futures, and I’m looking forward to the mentor relationship to help them discover all their options for life skills and a career.”
Formal mentor-mentee matches will be made within a few weeks of the event. The next event, in which mentors and mentees will participate in a creative activity and enjoy a brunch together, is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 11. Another event will take place Wednesday, March 27. In the interim, students will continue to develop their relationships with their mentors.
“Our hope is that these mentor-mentee relationships will last at least for the duration of the students’ time at Arcadia and hopefully even longer,” said Helene Klein, Co-Director of the Honors Program. “This program speaks to a long time desire to get alumni more involved in campus life.”
Arcadia University Trustee Charles W. Lentz ’03M said, “[The] program will provide a very meaningful way for the alumni of Arcadia to give back to their university and have a tremendous impact on the current students of Arcadia by contributing to laying the foundation for their future success.”