Make an appointment at the Career Development Office to get started. A career counselor will assist you in identifying a prospective mentor. You may also want to join the State University of New York at Fredonia LinkedIn group to connect with students and alumni about careers, job searching and opportunities available.
What should I expect when I contact a mentor?
Remember that the mentors are busy professionals, so it may take a few (or several) days for them to respond. Be considerate of their time, and be prepared for your communication. They may wish to communicate with you by email, by phone or conference call, or (occasionally) in person.
How do I prepare for my conversation with a mentor?
Think about what you hope to gain from your contact with a mentor. Prepare a list of questions in advance, and research the career field and the organization at which they work. That way, your time with the mentor can be spent gathering information that is not readily available from other sources.
What questions do I ask?
- The CDO provides a list of possible questions to help you think about what to ask, but don't expect to ask all of them.
- Briefly tell the mentor a little about yourself (your major, class year, goals).
- Ask about the mentor - their career path, how they got started, how long they have been in their position.
- Ask questions about their job and career field - describe a typical day, what they like/dislike about it, what are typical entry level positions, the importance of internships.
- Get some advice - what job search strategies are most successful in this field, where are jobs typically posted, what web sites or professional journals or associations are recommended, what to look for in a good graduate program or internship.
What do I do after I connect with my mentor?
Send a thank you note to the mentor, expressing your appreciation for their time and the helpful information you received!
If you have any additional questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact the Career Development Office at 716-673-3327 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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