Mentoring


Mentoring is the most intensive component of the Culverhouse Connections program. It requires a commitment for one academic year. Students increase their professional skills, enhance their professional network, and expand their knowledge of integrity, ethics, and diversity in the workplace. Mentoring can begin as early as the student’s sophomore year.

Students (Mentees):

After students attend an interest session and are matched with their mentor, they will initiate contact with their mentor. This typically occurs in August. The first contact or conversation should include general introductions, goal setting, and creating a strategic plan for making the most of the experience. Students are required to spend at least one hour per month with their mentors. The method of communication varies based on mentor and mentee preferences.

In addition, students are required to attend at least four professional development workshops per year and report monthly updates of the mentoring relationship.

While each mentoring relationship is different, some general activities for engaging with the mentor may include requesting guidance on resumes, asking questions about internships and job placement opportunities, and practicing and seeking advice on interviewing skills. Monthly emails will be sent to mentees and mentors by Culverhouse Connections staff providing information relevant to career development, program opportunities, and campus updates, all of which could spur conversation.

Professionals (Mentors):

To participate in the Mentoring Program, business professionals will need to complete the online application: Apply Here

After students are matched with a mentor and trained on the expectations of the program, they will initiate contact with their mentors. The first contact or conversation should include general introductions, goal setting, and creating a strategic plan for making the most of the experience. Students are expected to spend at least one hour per month in correspondence and/or conversation with their mentor.

While each mentoring relationship is different, some general activities for supporting the student may include guidance on resumes, insight on internships and job-placement opportunities, practice, and advice on interviewing skills and serving as a resource for business questions. Monthly emails will be sent to mentees and mentors by Culverhouse Connections staff providing information relevant to career development, program opportunities, and campus updates, all of which could spur conversation.

Mentorship Stories

Crissy Carlisle’s Mentorship Story

Crissy Carlisle, UA alum and Chief Investor Relations Officer with HealthSouth Corporation, has participated as a mentor since 2010 when the program was known as the Women’s Initiative Program (WIP). She continued in her role as a mentor in 2012 when the program became Culverhouse Connections, a three-component student enrichment program open to both men and women.

“I view the Culverhouse Mentoring Program as a two-way street. I try my best to add value to the student’s academic program and professional aspirations, and I allow the student to choose the topics and drive the conversations. But, over the years, I’ve found I learn just as much from the students as they learn from me. They help me understand how the next generation of business leaders thinks and feels, which in turn makes me a better leader,” said Carlisle.

Any retired or working professional with a passion for student success and a willingness to share his or her expertise is welcomed to join Culverhouse Connections as a mentor. Mentors differ as much in profession as they do in geographic area, but they all share the common goal of seeing our students develop personally and professionally. Students and mentors are expected to connect for at least one hour per month over the course of the academic year, either through in-person communication, phone, email, or Skype.

Become a Culverhouse Mentor

The Mentoring Program applications are open now.

Contact Lara Ellen Locke at lelocke@ua.edu to learn more.

FAQs

Who participates?

Culverhouse students are paired with a Culverhouse alum or friend of the college who serves as their mentor.

What is mentoring?

An individual relationship for growth, development, and networking.

Where does it take place?

Most students are on campus, but some also participate in distance education. Mentors live all over the country and represent every industry, so communication is key in making the most of this relationship. Face-to-face, email, phone, skype, and social media can all be modes for communication.

When does it happen?

A commitment for the academic year (August-May) from both students and mentors is needed.

Why should I participate?

Alums want to make an impact and help prepare future business leaders. Students aim to get an edge on their career development and expand their professional network and opportunities.

How do I get involved?

An application is required for everyone interested.

If I complete an application, will I be matched?

Hopefully, but matches are made on personal and professional criteria for the best fit and availability of mentors.

What is the time commitment?

The commitment could be as little as one hour per month, but the goals and expectations set between the mentee and mentor will determine how much time is spent.

When is the application due?

The priority deadline for applications is Friday, April 14.

What would my mentor and I work on together or discuss?

Each mentor and mentee pair will set goals that will help guide and direct the year. Some common topics of conversation include resume feedback, interview practice, research of companies for internships and full-time positions.

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