The SPU Mentor Program offers three tracks, each track designed to help you either discern your career goals or help you prepare for them. The correct track for you is dependent on numerous factors, but you might be drawn to a particular track based upon how certain you are regarding your current career goal. Chances are, at least one of our tracks will be helpful to you. During your program interview, we will ensure that you have selected the right track to suit your current needs.
The three tracks of the SPU Mentor Program are: Mentor, Job Shadow, and Career 360.
The Three Mentor Tracks
The Mentor track is good for any student hoping to grow and develop his or her professional skills and knowledge. In this program, you will meet with a professional who has been hand-selected according to your needs and preferences. On average, you and your mentor will meet three to five times over a period of six to twelve months. The actual frequency varies according to you and your mentor’s availability. During these meetings, you may ask candid questions of your mentor, and will develop a more in-depth relationship.
Depending on your goals, you might receive coaching or advice about a specific career. This advice might include information about what a career looks like, how to get there, and what you could be doing now in preparation for your future.
Perhaps you don’t have a specific career in mind. Instead, you want an established professional as a mentor, someone with a specific mindset or background, who can talk to you about the challenges that everyone faces in the work place: work/life balance, faith integration in the marketplace, or emotionally coping with a demanding job. Perhaps your soft skills need help, and you seek the guidance of a professional as you develop them further.
Your goals are up to you. We find a mentor based on your specific needs.
During a job shadow, a student typically follows one professional for half a day (roughly 4 hours).
This program is useful for someone who isn’t certain of his or her specific path. Perhaps you want to make sure the work matches your mental image. Perhaps you don’t know if you want to work for a large firm or for a small firm. Perhaps you don’t know if you want to be in a nonprofit or for-profit setting. Observing a workplace and job firsthand can help you answer those questions.
Perhaps you want to work for a specific company, government agency, or nonprofit, but you don’t know what role you want within that organization. Maybe you don’t even know what your options would be within that firm. What if you love an industry but just realized that the job you always wanted isn’t something you’d enjoy, and now you don’t know what your options are. In a Career 360 experience, you have a series of one-hour meetings, each arranged and held individually, with multiple people within an organization. Think of this as multiple one-time mentor meetings, with multiple people. Here, you don’t get the relationship and coaching aspect of a mentorship, or the immersive experience of a job shadow, but you do get a broader sense for how an organization operates. This track isn’t for everyone, but it can be useful if your interests are broad and your career goal has more to do with a company than with a specific role.
What the Mentor Program is Not
The Mentor Program is not for facilitating one-off informational interviews, or for finding internships.