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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of a mentor and who are the students?
A mentor serves as a role model to the protégé. A mentor will provide advice and guidance to the protégé, and work together to maintain a meaningful relationship throughout the academic year. This program is for Smeal students only, or those in the Division of Undergraduate studies, tracking for Smeal. A student must be a sophomore, junior, senior, or 5th year student at the time of their participation. Students are from all majors in Smeal, and participate in a variety of extracurricular activities. 

What types of things might I discuss with a student protégé?
Often, the students are looking for a  sounding board for some decisions and milestones they might experience during their college career. Some areas where a mentor can be of assistance include selecting a major, understanding career paths, discussing a professional area, discussing a specific industry, leadership, building a personal network, resume and cover letter help, interview preparation, negotiating job offers, transition to the workplace, workplace experiences, and considering an advanced degree.

Do I need to return to campus to participate in the Mentoring Program?
No, you are not required to return to campus to participate in the program. We do highly recommend and encourage you to make every effort to connect in person at least once during the academic year.

What is the time commitment?
You and your protégé 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 our students with an invaluable compliment to their academic coursework and extra-curricular activities. As a mentor, you also benefit by experiencing the personal fulfillment that comes from helping your protégé achieve his/her goals; contributing to a richer, more interactive experience for our students; and networking with other mentors.

How many students and alumni typically participate in the Mentoring Program?
This year, we have approximately 225 students and alumni participating in the Mentoring Program. We anticipate that the program will continue to serve additional students and involve more alumni over time.

How do I get involved?
Share your interest in the program with the Smeal Alumni Relations office ( A “Call for Mentors” will come in the form of an e-mail in April. Once you receive that e-mail, there will be directions to complete a brief online application. The mentoring matches will be made during the summer by the Smeal Alumni Relations office.