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Knox Alumni Mentoring Program FAQ


Eric Johnson

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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What are the goals of this program?

The goals are to:

  • Act as positive role models and share insight into their undergraduate experiences and career paths as adults.
  • Offer career guidance and general professional advice.
  • Introduce students to the alumni community and other members of the larger Knox community.
  • Introduce the idea of building long-term relationships, networking, and the opportunity to practice and refine those skills.
  • Provide insight into different career areas for students (this program encourages career exploration).
  • Inspire students to pursue new fields of interest or confirm current fields of interest.
  • Motivate students to work toward long-term goals (through internships, part-time employment, other networking forums, full-time employment, and graduate school).
  • Help students polish resumes and improve interviewing skills.
  • Provide information on how to research specific employers or companies.

How are mentors-mentees matched?

Participants are matched based off commonalities in their personal and professional profiles, specifically the mentor's work experience and knowledge as it relates to the professional interests and aspirations of the student.

Also weighed in the matching process:

  • Similarities in the mentee's professional interest and mentor's professional experience, current employment
  • Commonalities in professional development projects in which student and mentor indicate interest
  • Similarities in character and personality as assessed through personal statement
  • Similarities in undergraduate profile: major, minor, student organizations and activity involvement

Why is mentorship important?

There are countless publications that validate the significance and value of mentorship. But the easiest way to prove that mentorship is important is to ask yourself, "What advice do I wish someone would have given me when I ... graduated from college ... first started my career ...made a significant career transition?" More than likely you have a number of ideas that come to mind. Imagine how valuable it would have been to be given helpful advice at that time of your life. Mentoring gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and advice with someone who is about to embark down the same path you traveled, and this is your chance to help them along the way.

How is mentorship different from mentoring moments?

Mentoring moments are conversations between two people where information is shared. A mentoring moment usually results from a meaningful interaction that leads to an "ah ha" moment for the mentee. While these interactions may be transactional, they are still important moments that can lead to meaningful guidance for the mentee. Mentorship, however, is about an alumnus/alumna developing a longer-term relationship (typically about three months) with their mentee covering multiple aspects of career and personal development.

How is mentorship different from networking?

Networking is about developing professional contacts that you can call upon when you need assistance getting information or help while job hunting. Generally networking interactions are more transactional exchanges. For instance you would ask people in your network about job leads, request an informational interview, or ask to be connected to someone in their professional network (someone who is not yet in your network). The purpose of a mentor is not  to offer their mentee a job. Mentorship is about an alumnus/alumna developing a long-term relationship with their mentee covering multiple aspects of career and personal development.

Where should our mentorship meetings take place?

Meetings should take place in a public location, such as the mentor's office, a restaurant, or coffee shop.

What activities should mentors and mentees engage in?

Casual conversation is the most common interaction that mentees and mentors will have. Other activities include: setting up a mock in-person or phone interview, scheduling a day of job shadowing, conducting a resume/cover letter review, or attending a conference or industry presentation together.

What if there is a problem with my mentorship relationship?

If you experience any issues with your mentor/mentee or have questions, please reach out to Associate Director of Alumni Engagement, Eric Johnson, at Eric can offer solutions to improve the relationship or in some cases formally terminate the relationship.

I have further questions about the mentoring program, who can I contact?

If you are interested in serving as a mentor, are an interested student, or have general inquiries about the program, they may be directed to the Associate Director of Alumni Engagement, Eric Johnson, at or at 309-341- 7648

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Printed on Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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