Why Mentoring is Important

You may have already heard that having a mentor is a good idea, but why? And what does a mentor do?

A mentor typically provides students with career advice, feedback, and connections to people in their field. According to the 2018 Gallup Alumni Survey, "college graduates are almost two times more likely to be engaged at work if they had a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and dreams." Through conversations with a mentor, students can learn more about the world of work and where they will most thrive.

The UMD ECON Mentoring Program

A mentoring program for ECON undergraduate students was piloted in 2021, which led to many students finding jobs or internships. Alumni from our undergraduate and graduate program have joined our Economic Leadership Council Affiliates program to provide mentoring and career support for ECON majors.

This non-credit program runs through one academic year and matches you with a mentor and gives you activities to complete. These activities range from resume reviews to informational interviewing. The program builds on the resources provided by the University Career Center, Feller Center, and ECON careers website.

Who Can Benefit from the Mentoring Program?

Mentoring is useful for almost everyone. That being said first generation students, underrepresented minorities, and students thinking seriously about their careers will most benefit from the program. To get the most out of the program, you'll need to spend time both talking to your mentor and working on any assignments they give you throughout the academic year. Students who were able to commit 3-5 hours a month in the program saw the biggest impacts.

What are the Expectations to Participate?

If you are interested in the program, you'll need to attend first attend an orientation workshop in September. If selected for the program:

  • You will need to communicate with your mentor to arrange your first meeting
  • You and your mentor will establish your goals for the mentoring program and when/how often you'll meet
  • You'll be expected to keep all scheduled appointments with your mentor or communicate with them to reschedule or cancel

Your mentor will support you in any way they can, so clear communication about your wants, needs, and goals is important. And your mentor can help you figure out your wants, needs, and goals so just ask. This program is to support you and your goals.

How do I Apply?

The application deadline one week after the orientation workshop. Keep your eyes open for The Competitive Advantage newsletter for specifics or email Ronda Ansted, Career Outreach Strategist, at econcareers@umd.edu.