Program offers job guidance
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:05
Thousands of university seniors across the United States are attending their last set of courses and are preparing to enter their chosen field of study. With their school days soon to be over, some are thinking about the issues that lie ahead—how to enter their career choices, where to apply, where to live if they move to another city, among others.
A new initiative between the Division of Student Affairs, Alumni Relations and the University Career Center seeks to assist graduating seniors with these issues. The Miner Mentor Program seeks to align graduating seniors with university alumni, who are already involved in their chosen career paths. Planning for the new initiative began three to four months ago.
“The program is officially kicked off now. We had our reception last week, where our mentees and our mentors met up for the first time,” said Louie Rodriguez, assistant to the vice president for student affairs.
Student affairs officials made a request for students interested in participating in the program and later they started looking for mentors. For the pilot year, 21 pairs of mentors and mentees have been identified.
“They contacted me in May for this pilot program and they’ve assigned me a mentor that’s also an educator here in El Paso, where I want to work,” said Adrian Antonio Rivera, senior bilingual education major.
Career fields of the students participating in the program include education, legal and medical professions and entrepreneurship as well as continuing on to graduate school. Students were matched with alumni who were either involved in or worked in those areas of expertise or have some sort of knowledge which can be helpful to the students.
“A lot of times it is career advice. What did you do to enter the field? What do you think I should do? Or advice as to how to put your resume together or to do an interview,” said Craig Thompson, assistant director of the career center.
Miner Mentors is a nine-month program and it is hoped that the students and their mentors will keep in communication with each other and continue the mentoring relationship through the years.
“Our alumni have been very generous with their time and willingness to help our students. The challenging part was finding the best of several options to serve as mentors to our students,” Rodriguez said.
The Alumni Relations office has networks with former students around the country. A recruiting strategy to get more mentors involved is under way, along with how to reach out to students who will be seniors next year and are interested in the program.
Sylvia Adame, senior special education major, said she joined the program because getting a job in the teaching field is difficult.
“My mentor is Anna Montes, an English teacher with Fabens High School. She recently graduated and got her masters (in education),” Adame said. “I expect to get a lot of advice from her because she has a lot of experience. So that’s why I’m so excited to have her as a mentor.”
Through the career center’s Job Mine database, students can search for a mentor who might assist them with several things, from entering their career field, assisting them with locating housing in a distant city to information about what to expect if hired by a company that the alumni already works for.
“I am hoping to get some insight into the career, some pointers as to what I should put into the resume, what other things I need to supplement with training, or workshops, pointers on interviews, how he went through it and his experiences,” Rivera said.
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