Presented by the Design Student & Alumni Board (DSAB).
The College of Design Mentors are volunteers from the design, retail, or housing industry who have an interest in helping students develop professional skills. As a mentor, you can provide industry knowledge and advice to students along with feedback on their resume or projects; interviewing tips specific to your discipline; introductions to networking connections; and assistance in developing professional, communication and relationship skills.
Mentor Training and Information Session
Thursday, September 22, 2016
8:00-9:00 a.m., 225 Rapson Hall—parking and directions.
Interested in mentoring a design student? Join us for a training and information session to learn more about the mentor program. During the session, you will learn about your role as a mentor as well as hear advice from past mentor and student participants. A great opportunity whether you are new to mentoring or have been away from the program for a while.
For more information or to sign-up to attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know by Monday, September 19.
Benefits of Being a Mentor
- Opportunity to help and guide future professionals in your field
- Gather new ideas and perspectives from current students
- Build your own network
Role and Expectations as a Mentor
- Meet monthly with your student (in-person, email, or Skype) from November through April.
- Work with student to help them establish realistic and obtainable goals and identify ways to achieve them.
- Commit to being accessible and engaged in the experience for the duration of the program.
- Offer constructive suggestions and feedback.
- Help student meet with other professionals in his/her desired field.
- Ask good questions that help student explore his/her own values and needs, or make informed decisions.
- Be willing to adjust your goals as student changes interests during or as a result of this opportunity for career exploration.
The mentor program is NOT a job placement program for students. There are no expectations that a job or internship will develop out of this experience.
Comments From Past Mentees
“The last meeting I had with my mentor we met up at a coffee shop and reviewed my portfolio for almost two hours. It was an exciting and engaging conversation about my work. I had been designing, making my portfolio for months at that point and it was so refreshing to talk about it with someone who had never seen it before. It made me excited to continue working on this document, and pursue projects that could work into its story.”
“By complete chance, my mentor and I both transitioned to new places of employment during the winter months. My mentor had been employed at a residential firm since graduating with his Masters, and was interested in exploring other avenues of design. I was transitioning into an internship at a larger firm at the same time. We were both able to talk about pros and cons of numerous aspects of the transition—residential vs. non-residential work, adjusting to a new workplace, how long to stay at a firm that is great but being curious about other types of work and how to make the decision to leave a firm. Additionally, it provided us the opportunity to tour each other's old places of employment as well as new places of employment.”
- Mentors: Application for new and returning members.
- Time Commitment and Expectations
- Students: Eligible students will receive an emailed invitation with an application link in September.
- Requirements for Student Participants
Resources and Training Handbooks
- Program Handbook
- Suggested Activities
- Mentoring Guide Mobile App
(download for free)
- The College of Design blog
- University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) Mentor Connection
- College of Design Academic Programs
Director of Alumni Relations