In an effort to better meet the mentoring and networking needs of undergraduate certificate in finance students and engage interested finance alumni, BCF launched a UCF mentorship program in 2015. Three years later, hundreds of students have benefited from the advice of experienced alumni. Here’s one example.
The mentorship program is part of an overall increase in career development support of our undergrad students. Starting Fall 2015, we held a UCF Careers Boot Camp orientation before classes started, offered office hours for undergrads for resume reviews and mock interviews; created a LinkedIn page for new UCF students sharing best practices career tips; and hosted alumni and corporate affiliates interested in outreach to undergrad students in our speaker series and workshops (e.g. Private Equity Workshop series).
The mentorship program will connect interested UCF students (launched with last year’s junior UCF class) with Princeton alumni who are interested in deeper connections on campus and with students.
The program will unfold as follows:
- August – Survey new UCF juniors regarding specific area of career interest/ideal job and current clubs/sports on campus (to determine affinity connection with alumni)
- July/August/September – connect with potential alumni mentors and match UCF juniors with alumni mentors based on survey results and alumni interest
- Ongoing – Connect students with mentors via email, providing details of nature of program, expectations, ways to engage, etc.
As we introduce the student to his/her mentor, we set the ground rules to manage expectations:
- Mentors are not expected to help a student find an internship or job, nor to give specific advice on a regular basis.
- Mentors do not need to meet in person unless convenient – email, Skype, telephone calls can all be ways to connect for those who are not in the same vicinity
- Mentors can share their own career path and experience in job search, provide general advice based on the career goals of that student, and provide general feedback based on a student’s interaction.
In the future, we will look to host a reception at the BCF or an event in NY to connect interested mentors/mentees in person, and/or host a thesis workshop connecting mentees with mentors at a senior thesis fair/roundtable.