Mentor a Student

Notre Dame parents/alumni often ask, “How can I support student career development and share expertise I have?”  Becoming a parent/alumni mentor is an excellent way to support Notre Dame students by sharing your experience, knowledge and wisdom from your years of working in a competitive world.  Notre Dame students are among the best trained and academically prepared in the nation, but gaining professional skills about the “real world” can only be obtained through personal experience and exposure.

Mentorship can take shape in many ways, but ideally it is meeting one-on-one periodically throughout a specified time frame.  Below are more details about being a mentor, but if you are interested please contact LoriAnn Edinborough at Edinborough.1@nd.edu

In addition to traditional one-on-one mentoring, The Career Center is always seeking parents/alumni to speak in career courses, offer job shadows for students at their work locations, host students on industry career-treks and participate in mock interviews.  Please consider how those might fit into your commitment as well!


Mentors provide students the opportunity to connect with a professional who has been successful in the workplace and build a relationship with that person to serve as a resource in their career development.

  • Mentors help students set goals for themselves
  • Mentors assist students with advice on growing as a professional and how to use those skills to thrive in their leadership roles, serve on teams, and participate in internships and beyond
  • Mentors serve as a resource for students regarding certain job functions and industries, for questions, advice, resources, career exploration, networking and development
  • Mentors help students make the transition from an academic environment to the work world

MENTORING IS:

  • A relationship in which the student takes active responsibility for his own learning and development and the mentor serves as a facilitator of that growth
  • A relationship built on the experience and knowledge of both participants
  • A relationship in which the mentor supports the student’s growth and development by asking thought-provoking questions and providing insightful, experiential advice

MENTORING IS NOT:

  • A relationship in which the student passively interacts the mentor
  • A relationship in which the mentor tries to mold the student into a version of him/herself
  • A relationship in which the mentor tries to solve the student’s problems for him/her

MENTOR TIPS:

  • Ask thought-provoking questions
  • Be an active listener
  • Be a role model
  • Provide objective feedback and guidance
  • Demonstrate skills such as critical thinking
  • Help facilitate self-reflection and self-development in the student

EXPECTATIONS OF THE STUDENT:

  • To discuss their needs and expectations with their mentor, think about what they want out of the relationship prior to each meeting
  • Be receptive to suggestion and feedback
  • Keep mentor informed of progress
  • Contact mentor if unable to participate in scheduled meetings in a timely manner
  • Realize that having a mentor is a privilege, understand the mentor is busy with their life as well and work hard to take advantage of the opportunity
  • Maintain a professional demeanor at all times