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Alumni Volunteers Invited to Serve as Career Mentors

The SUNY Plattsburgh Career Development Center is looking for alumni volunteers who can serve as career coaches and mentors for current students.

Alumni would provide career-based mentoring and information that allows students to connect without having to be in the same geographic location. 

“We want to continue, but we need more mentors,” said Dr. Julia Overton-Healy, center director, about the program that launched in February 2015.

Students and coaches share ideas, questions and advice on the phone or via email, LinkedIn, Skype or GoogleHangouts.

Two Students Per Semester

“Mentors typically take two students per semester; most pairings devote one hour every two weeks to focused conversation in addition to contact by email,” Overton-Healy said.

The Cardinal Career Coach program provides modules on a variety of career topics, including creating resumes and letters, impressing the recruiter, conducting a job search, cleaning your “digital dirt,” networking, graduate study, decision-making, understanding office politics and financial wellbeing. The PowerPoint modules include “The Mentor Minute,” a guide sheet to help alumni with conversation starters and questions to ask mentees.

Enriching Experiences

“Recent coaches have reported that this experience enriches their sense of connection to SUNY Plattsburgh and that it has been fulfilling to help a current student,” she said.

“Students have overwhelmingly praised the experience, saying they feel more confident in their career options and would recommend the program to their friends.”

The fall program runs from early September to mid-December. Alumni volunteers will need to complete a StrengthsQuest inventory and a profile questionnaire — information will be provided — by Aug. 10. Students will be recruited during orientation and the first week of classes in August followed by interviews by Sept. 4. The mentor pairings will be established by Sept. 11.

What makes a good mentor?

Openness to share your own perspective and experiences

Active listening skills to hear what is and isn’t

Thoughtful feedback to encourage more self-reflection in the student

Willingness to suggest resources for networking

Recommended use of the Career Development Center and participation in center events

A desire to help a student build career confidence

For more information, call the CDC at 518-564-2071 or email Dr. Julia Overton-Healy at [email protected].

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