Mentorship Program

If you are a student in the College of Business, please read the following information as it pertains to you.

The College of Business (COB) at the University of Mary Washington is committed to providing real world experiences and connections for our students in the business community. To that end, we are matching UMW alumni who work in business disciplines with our students, so that the students can have access to a professional who can serve as a mentor for the mentee’s final two years at the University.

Any graduate or undergraduate student who is a business major or has declared themselves as ‘pre-business’ may apply for a mentor.  The commitment for the student and alumni will be for one year.  If the mentor/mentee match ‘works,’ you may continue the relationship into future years. We hope an informal relationship would last post-UMW!

Because of today’s technology, alumni can be literally anywhere in the world for this relationship to develop.  The first contact will be made by alumni (mentors) to students (mentees) by email.  After this initial contact, you are expected to be the primary initiator of contact, and we expect a minimum of three contacts per semester.  These interactions can be via email, text, phone, Skype, or in person!  Ideally, you can direct the conversation topics, but your mentor may also address topics that s/he thinks are appropriate. Its a good idea to have an informational interview early to ensure the success of the mentoring relationship.

Sample Questions For Your Mentor

At the end of each semester, we will ask both mentor and mentee to give brief feedback on the program.  Specifically, we would like to know, from survey responses, what is working, what is NOT working, and what we can do to improve the program.

Our goal is to link our students with business professionals.  We hope that you will learn something from your mentor about how to successfully navigate the job search process. Additionally, you may be exposed to UMW alumni with jobs in organizations that might or might not have been familiar to you. The alumni are valued for their experiences and feel a sense of satisfaction in assisting the next generation of UMW students’ transition to successful alumni.

Feel free to contact Andrea Cordray, Student Support and Outreach Coordinator in the College of Business, at acordray@umw.edu, with any questions.

Student applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis.

 Frequently Asked Questions

What is the length of the mentorship? What if my mentor has to end the mentorship early?

We are asking for a commitment of one year.  If the mentor must end the mentorship early, we will assign you to another mentor.

What is the anticipated time commitment per month?

As a new program, it is difficult to answer this, but we expect the time commitment will be no more than 30 minutes per month.

Will every student be assigned a mentor?  What if we have more mentees than mentors?

Every student that applies will be assigned a mentor.  If we have more students than mentors, we will ask mentors to consider taking an additional mentee.

What if my mentor has questions/requests I either cannot answer/do not want to answer?

Mentees always have the right to say “I don’t know” or “I’d prefer not to answer.”  We do not want to create an uncomfortable situation for either party.

What do I do if there is a personality or other conflict?

If there is some type of conflict between the mentor and mentee, we will try to resolve it and, if that is not possible, we will reassign the mentee to another mentor, if possible.  We want this to be positive experience for both parties.

Is there a cost to being a mentee?

There is no additional financial cost to be a mentee.

Can there be requests for a specific mentor/mentee?

As the program is new to UMW, we would prefer to assign mentees to mentors without considering special requests.  Our intent is to expose students to ideas with which they are unfamiliar, and specifically requesting a mentor might undermine this objective.

What would a typical mentor/mentee meeting look like?

We expect most meetings would occur electronically or telephonically as mentors may be recruited from outside the Fredericksburg area.  They might take the form of Skype, text, phone, Facebook or LinkedIn messages or, in some cases, face-to-face meetings.

Is there a set list of activities/topics for the mentorship?

No.  We want the relationship to develop around topics the mentor and mentee wish to discuss.

What are the goals of the program?  

The primary goals involve giving College of Business students an opportunity to interact with business alumni, and to engage the alumni in a meaningful way. The program is intended to enrich the student’s perspective as s/he navigates their years at UMW with an eye to life after UMW.