Alumni-Alumni Mentoring Program
We encourage Alumni of the ISE Department to cultivate meaningful relationships with fellow ISE Alumni who can offer insights and advice as you navigate your career, explore new career paths, or consider further education and training.
The Mentoring Process
NC State’s Alumni Association provides a free Advice seeking service “Ask The Pack” to it’s
Alumni. This service can be utilized to help you find an Alumni who can serve as a mentor.
It is highly recommended that you review the “Mentee Guidelines” webpage and work through this Goal
Setting Guide so that you have clear goals in mind and will be able to articulate your needs in your request for a mentor who can be most effective.
When you are ready to request a mentor, go to Ask the Pack and fill out the form (See example).
After you are connected to your mentor, work with them to set up your first meeting and discuss
items described on the “Mentee Guidelines” webpage
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the time commitment involved in being a mentor or mentee?
You and your mentor/mentee have complete control over your mentorship relationship and can decide how often you want to meet at the onset of your relationship. Depending on the goals that the mentee would like to work towards, both the mentor and mentee should talk about frequency and set a target end date for the engagement.
Who is eligible for the program?
All NC State University Alumni are eligible. Faculty, staff, parents, certificate students, and friends of the institution are not currently eligible to participate.
I don’t live in the Raleigh/RTP area. Can I still participate?
Absolutely. Any alumnus from anywhere in the world is invited to participate. The mentor and mentee can connect either in person (where possible) or via phone, email, or video chat. In fact, getting global perspectives can be an advantage.
Why is mentorship important?
There are countless publications that validate the significance and value of mentorship. But the easiest way to prove that mentorship is important is to ask yourself, “What advice do I wish someone would have given me when I … graduated from college … first started my career … made a significant career transition?” More than likely you have a number of ideas that come to mind. Imagine how valuable it would have been to be given helpful advice at that time of your life – that value speaks to the power of mentorship. Mentoring gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and advice with someone who is about to embark down the same path you traveled, and this is your chance to help them along the way.
How is mentorship different from networking?
Networking is about developing professional contacts that you can call upon when you need assistance getting information or help while job hunting. Generally, networking interactions are more transactional exchanges. For instance, you would ask people in your network about job leads, request an informational interview, or ask to be connected to someone in their professional network (someone who is not yet in your network). The purpose of a mentor is not to offer their mentee a job. Mentorship is about an alumnus/alumna developing a long-term relationship with their mentee covering multiple aspects of career and personal development.
Where should our mentorship meetings take place?
All in-person meetings should take place in a public location, such as the mentor’s office, a restaurant, or a coffee shop. Meetings can also take place via phone or video chat.
How do I know when the mentoring relationship is over?
Although all good things come to an end at some point, if any of these statements sound familiar:
- I feel like I’ve met my development goals.
- Our conversations have become a little flat and predictable.
- We end up talking about things unrelated to mentoring when we meet.
- We haven’t met in several weeks or even months.
- My development needs have changed since this relationship started.
- I’m not sure my mentor is committed to this relationship.
- I’m not sure I’m committed to this relationship.
- My priorities have shifted and I can’t give this relationship what I should.
Any of these are signs that it may be time to say goodbye to your mentoring relationship. Keep in mind that just because you may be ending the relationship at this point doesn’t mean that you can’t or won’t have a relationship with this mentor again in the future.
How should I end my mentoring relationship?
When ending a mentoring relationship, you want to be as polite and amicable as possible; the best thing to strive for is honesty. Tell your mentor that your goals have shifted, or that your priorities have changed, or that the two of you just don’t seem to be a good fit.
Whatever the reason, be forthright with your mentor and give them the chance to weigh in with their opinion and observations. You might be surprised to find out they were thinking the same thing. If you planned your relationship well from the start and gave yourselves a timeframe to work within for this relationship, then you could use that deadline as a reason to assess your progress and end the relationship.
You can always extend this date if the relationship is generating quality ideas and support that you need, but with an end date established from the start, you and your mentor both know what to expect, how much time you are committing to the relationship, and how much time you have in order to accomplish your goals.