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Mentoring Program Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to participate?
The program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. All students apply during the spring semester of the previous year to participate in the program the following year.

Who are the mentors?
Smeal alumni and friends of the college serve as mentors in the Mentoring Program. The mentors are recent graduates to those with many years of working experience, and come from various academic majors with experiences and careers in a wide range of industries.

What is the time commitment?
You and your mentor determine the time commitment based on your goals for the year. It is important, though, that you engage in consistent communication. Interaction at least once a month is recommended.

How will I benefit from the Mentoring Program?
The Mentoring Program provides countless benefits. For many protégés, their mentor serves as a sounding board for some of the decisions and milestones they experience during their college career. Some areas where a mentor can be of assistance include academic major exploration, career advice, leadership development, and the college to career transition. In addition to your relationship with your mentor, the program offers professional development workshops and networking opportunities with other protégés and mentors throughout the academic year.

How many students and alumni typically participate in the Mentoring Program?
We typically have about 130 alumni mentors and 150 student protégés participating in the Mentoring Program. Some mentors are willing to mentor more than one student. We anticipate that the program will continue to involve more alumni over time and serve additional students.

How do I get involved?
All current first-year students, sophomores, and juniors will receive an invitation to a Mentoring Program Information Session in mid-spring. The session provides you with more information about the expectations for the program, and how to apply to the program. Later that spring, all students (referenced above) will receive an e-mail titled, “Call for Protégés.” That e-mail message will contain directions for completing a brief online application. The program will begin the following fall.

I still have some questions, who should I contact?
To learn more about the Mentoring Program, contact the Alumni Relations Office at 814-865-7831 or via e-mail at
alumni@smeal.psu.edu.