There are substantial advantages for creating student/alumni mentoring programmes. Students can get the opportunity to interact with professionals and learn more about the knowledge and skills needed at work, establish greater relationships to the institution through interaction with alumni. Many students are now studying “vocational” curricula where networking and past experience are essential. Therefore, mentoring provides both of these critical opportunities in addition to other benefits. Such programmes are also beneficial to alumni as they provide them with the opportunity to reconnect with their alma mater and prepare and employ quality undergraduates to their organisations upon graduation.
In addition, while faculty mentors can furnish students with the prospects of conducting research, making key contacts within their field and advance their interpersonal skills. However, the needs of today’s students cannot be met by faculty alone because they are in search of other means to acquire insights about careers and the business world. Students want to know what skills and tools are needed to thrive in the competitive marketplace. As such, in response to this demand, alumni associations, career counselors and academic advisers have collaborated to promote students’ career interests and objectives through student/alumni mentoring programmes.
Academic advisers should also be engaged and be key players in the development of such programmes. Goals and expectations of the programmes should be decided together by the mentor and student, who must agree on the nature of the relationship and expectations from the relationship. Academic advisers should also help to enhance students’ undergraduate experience by helping to establish and maintain a student/alumnus mentoring programme. Through such programme, students will be able to effectively gain critical knowledge, alumni will feel more connected to their alma mater and the institution will have a strong network of individuals working to enhance the undergraduate experience. All these which would be made impossible without the active participation of academic advisers.
Join us in the upcoming QS-APPLE 2018 from 21-23 November 2018 in Seoul, South Korea, as we discuss the topic on “Future Universities in the Asia-Pacific: The Changing Face of Higher Education”.