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UMGC Career Connection How to Engage Mentors

UMGC Career Services
By UMGC Career Services

Embarking on your academic journey at UMGC can sometimes feel like the beginning of a long climb up a steep mountain. Yet, obtaining a degree or certification is not the final peak. Instead, it marks the beginning of a vast post-graduate landscape. The transition from academia to the professional realm may appear as an intricate and bewildering job search, reminiscent of navigating uncharted territory. To conquer this terrain with confidence and clarity, unlocking the power of mentorship becomes a valuable asset, both for active students at UMGC and our alumni. Learn how embracing mentorship can illuminate your path, turning challenges into opportunities on your academic and professional odyssey.

The Benefits of Engaging Mentors

Indeed, networking, in and out of UMGC, can be very important, but the individual attention you can gain from a mentor relationship can prove invaluable. With their experience, you’ll find answers to your most pressing questions as well as learn about your classes, understand college life, and get advice about the possible career choices you are considering.

The benefits of this unique one-on-one relationship with a mentor can include:

  • Getting solid and learned advice about your classes, career path, and job choices.
  • Working through questions and situations that arise affecting your schooling, skills, and career goals.
  • Helping you set milestones with someone who will ensure you stay accountable to them.

Each mentor/mentee relationship is unique to the individuals who make up that relationship. Before you engage a mentor, it’s good to know what to expect and when your needs are not being met in the give-and-take of that relationship. This is not a one-size-fits-all solution to your college career questions and job worries; not all mentors and mentees are meant to work together. When you engage with the right mentor, the benefit can be successful toward your career development.

The UMGC Mentor Programs

The UMGC virtual campus offers various mentorship programs, whether you are currently in classes with us or have just graduated. You can have a mentoring relationship in your chosen career with individuals who have taken the classes you have and who are in the career path you are looking to explore after earning your degree.

  • Our Community Connect Program matches alumni and industry professionals with students who are seeking career guidance advice. You can join Community Connect at any time through CareerQuest.
  • The military community can partake in the One2One Mentorship Program that provides veterans, service members, and their families individualized mentor support.
  • UMGC also offers Graduate Mentor Programs that come either integrated into your program of study or as an option for the student going on for a further degree. Program chairs should be contacted to learn what options are available on a student-by-student basis.

How To Be a Good Mentee

No matter how skilled your professional mentor might be, they can only provide advice and help guide you to what you present them. The individuals who mentor are volunteers, so you need to be ever respectful of their time as the very best mentors will always be respectful of yours.

Some more ways a mentee can best benefit their mentor and this relationship:

  • Always come to your mentor prepared.
  • What you speak about to and with your mentor should stay between you and your mentor. Their advice is for you.
  • Be cordial but maintain propriety; a mentor is not your therapist or your bestie.
  • Always keep to your scheduled appointments. If you must cancel, do your best to let your mentor know as far ahead of time as possible.
  • Don’t waste your mentor’s time or good advice; apply what you can of what you learn from them and tell them of the results.  

Seeking guidance from an experienced mentor provides essential support as you navigate your chosen career path. The mentor's role in offering direction and insights not only enhances your understanding of various job industries but also facilitates the development of a valuable learning resource. Engaging with a mentor at UMGC is an opportunity to cultivate a unique and beneficial relationship, yielding a variety of advantages for your professional growth.