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    Mentor Match 2017

    Katie Bullard, career services manager, gave tips for successful mentoring opportunities.

Mentor Match: Professional connections that open doors

Posted September 19, 2017
by Rebekah Friedman, alumni relations and communications coordinator

What’s the secret to a great resume? How do you get your foot in the door in a competitive job market? What skills are most valuable to prospective employers?

Each fall, the College of Information and Communications hosts Mentor Match to help students find answers to questions like these before entering the workforce. The program, now in its 10th year, pairs students in the School of Library and Information Science and the School of Journalism and Mass Communications with alumni who work in their area of interest. For mentees, it’s an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of their future industries. And for mentors, it’s a chance to share what they’ve learned with prospective colleagues.

This year’s event, which kicked off with a Match Night on Sept. 7, was expanded to include prospective mentors with relevant degrees from other universities. Following an information session for students, mentors and mentees split into groups based on their interests for roundtable discussions.

Katie Bullard, career services manager for the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, led the opening session for students. She says mentorship can set students up for success.

“Having someone to turn to for advice is important,” Bullard said. “But Mentor Match is also about making professional connections that can open doors to new and exciting opportunities.”

Nearly two-thirds of the 90 students who registered attended Match Night, making this year’s turnout one of the highest on record. One reason for the program’s growth is that past participants keep coming back.

“Match Night is one of my favorite events the J-school puts on each year,” said junior journalism student Carson Mason, now in her third year with the program. “I really enjoy meeting SJMC alumni and hearing about their various career paths. Like I did in my first two experiences with Mentor Match, I hope to learn new skills from my mentor, while staying connected and fostering a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Students aren’t the only ones who return year after year. Mackenzie Grant, a 2015 alumna, first became involved with Mentor Match as a broadcast journalism student. Now, she’s on her second year as a mentor.

“I love the diversity of skills, goals and passions among the students and the other mentors,” Grant said. “I was so impressed by the students, and even found myself taking notes from the other mentors and their careers.”

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