With classes in full swing this semester, you may find yourself constantly working to keep up with classwork, research, and extracurricular activities. In the midst of all this chaos, the idea of adding another responsibility to your schedule, such as committing to mentor an undergraduate student, may not seem appealing. However, the benefits of a mentoring relationship may be greater that you think!
What makes a mentor? A mentor, by definition, is “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.”1 While this definition is broad, it defines a mentor as someone who has some particular knowledge and level of respect that can be beneficial to others. As graduate students, there is plentiful knowledge that we gain simply from experience, such as applying to graduate school, writing proposals and applications for funding, and general expectations that faculty place on us. There are a number of tips and tricks that we have learned throughout our years of graduate school (even as first years!) that we may or may not consciously acknowledge but use on a day-to-day basis. These tips and tricks are incredibly valuable—particularly to undergraduate students interested in graduate school.
Benefits from sharing your knowledge with a SWE protégé are mutual and limitless. You can learn new things from teaching a student, as teaching requires a deeper level of understanding of any material. How well do you know the graduate school application process and requirements, such as personal statement tips or great resources to achieve a good score on the GRE? Additionally, you will be fostering a new connection to a fellow engineer in SWE, a connection that may benefit you (or the protégé) in the future! Most importantly, volunteering for this program leaves a tremendous broader impact on not only your protégé, but also the greater GradSWE community.
Worried about the time commitment? Our mentoring program offers an outline of graduate school topics (completely optional!) that you can discuss with your protégé. Mentoring pairs can choose how often they want to meet, the duration of each meeting, and how many sessions they would like to spend on each topic. If you choose to use our outline, time commitment will be minimal, as you can simply read through each topic and enrich each discussion with your own personal advice!
If you’re interested in sharing your knowledge with a SWE protégé, please fill out the form below! Please note, this form is for graduate students to sign up for a mentor as well as indicate interest in mentoring an undergraduate student. If you are only interested in mentoring an undergraduate student, simply write “Undergrad Mentor” in the final open response question!
To sign up to be a mentor, use the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/zNHhPv6Al2bhL4I33