The Professional Mentor Program, coordinated by the University of Memphis Office of
Student Leadership and Involvement, matches a select group of highly motivated students
with community leaders. More than 35 students and 25 professionals participated in
the Fall 2011 session of the Professional Mentor Program!
The program aims to pair students with a mentor who works in a field that corresponds
with the student’s career interests. The program also provides an opportunity for
networking and exploring leadership education. The goal of the Professional Mentor
Program is to prepare students to be future leaders through leadership development,
build community within the city of Memphis, and facilitate the development of a support
network with community leaders.
In addition to the individual pairings, participants are placed in clusters with others
who have similar professions so there is a shared experience and collaboration among
6-8 pairs. The clustering serves a two-fold purpose:
- It increases the available network for all mentors and protégés.
- It ensures everyone will have a role at our monthly meetings, in case a mentor or
protégé is unable to attend.
"I would encourage any student at the University of Memphis to be a part of this program.
No matter what your major is, you will find someone to connect with. I loved learning
about the advantages of networking in order to be successful in the future. The connections
I made with mentors will last beyond this semester."
-Bianca Lewis, Senior Emerging Leader
The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement is always looking for vibrant professionals
to volunteer their time as mentors with the program. The monthly meetings take place
on Fridays from 12:30-1:30. Spring 2012 meetings are scheduled for February 17th, March 16th, and April 20th. At these meetings, the SLI staff provides a guided educational component, as well
as a complimentary lunch. Program advisors highly recommend that all pairs meet outside
of the monthly meetings as their schedules allow and provide some thoughts on beneficial
ways to use those times. In summary, requirements are as follows:
Professional Mentor Program Responsibilities:
- One semester commitment
- Regular communication between Mentor/Protégé
- Attend Friday sessions
- Discuss meeting topics and their professional relevance
Recommendations for Mentor/Protégé Relationship:
- One on one informal meetings
- Mentor sets aside a day for protégés to job shadow*
- Mentor conduct mock interview with protégé for future interviews
* Job shadowing is recommended as a part of the program; however, in no way is it
to be construed as employment. Students are not to be paid, receive course credit,
or be compensated in any other manner as a part of the shadowing experience.
"I had a great experience with the Professional Mentoring Program. At first, I wasn't
sure what to expect, but it ended up being very valuable. I had a chance to share
my goals and dreams with my peers, as well as influential people in the city of Memphis.
I received encouragement and some very helpful advice. The thing that I will remember
most about my involvement with the program is the way the mentors interacted with
the students and their willingness to spend their valuable time with us. I know that
the mentors I connected with will be more than willing to be resources for me now
and in the future."
–Jennifer Hooper, Senior Emerging Leader
The Spring 2012 session will begin Friday, February 17th, 2012 in the University Center. If you are interested in learning more or serving as a
mentor in a future session, please contact:
Associate Dean for Student Leadership and Involvement
Office of Student Leadership and Involvement