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Alumni Mentor Program – Graduate Students

Supporting Graduate Student Success

In partnership with GSA, the UCLA Alumni Mentor Program aims to connect graduate students with advanced-degree alumni. Being a graduate student is a unique experience. From managing the dissertation process, to balancing projects and personal commitments, to navigating faculty relationships, we know that the mentor relationship with an advanced degree alumni can be invaluable.

Alumni

You have the opportunity to share your professional and personal experience and expertise with current UCLA graduate students. Whether you share the same program or are in an industry of interest, you can make a lasting impact on a graduate student who needs your help. This mentorship is not focused on getting students a job, but rather on sharing tools and resources that you’ve employed throughout your professional journey. Graduate students can benefit greatly by connecting with you and learning your story.

Become a Mentor

Graduate Students

You have exclusive access to a robust network of advanced degree alumni who are eager and willing to meet you and share their wisdom and advice about life beyond UCLA. Now is the time to create connections and nurture them. You can ask questions, get relevant advice and guidance, and prepare yourself for opportunities through regular meetings with a mentor. Select a mentor who shares your degree or has a similar industry interest, and put in the work to nurture the relationship with your mentor.

Learn More

Alumni Mentors

About the UCLA Alumni Mentor Program

The UCLA Alumni Mentor Program enables alumni from all over the globe to share their professional and personal experience and expertise with current UCLA graduate students.

As an alumni mentor for a current UCLA graduate student, you will have the opportunity to provide student(s) with academic guidance, career advice and personal development. We encourage mentors and students to connect on a regular basis (e.g., by phone, video conference or email). However, the frequency and form of communication are things you both can determine.

Alumni all over the world are invited to be part of this program. Whether you are in Los Angeles or across the globe, you can make a difference and may even be closer to a student than you imagine!

Key Dates and Resources

Any mentorship pairings made during the 2020-2021 academic year commit you to one another until June 2021.

Please click here for resources for mentors of graduate students.

If you have questions, please contact alumnimentor@alumni.ucla.edu.

For more information, see the FAQs

How do I participate?

1.
Register / Log in to uclaone.com (on a computer, not a mobile device)
2.
Complete / Update your profile by clicking on “Edit Profile” on the top right
 
Upload a professional photo
 
Include professional, academic, and volunteer experience
 
Under the “Offer Mentorship” section, check “UCLA Alumni Mentor Program”
 
Under the “About Me” section, answer the alumni question: “Why do you want to mentor a current graduate student?”
 
Make sure to click “Save” at the bottom of the page to save all changes.
3.
Await student mentor request(s)

How will a mentor match be made?

1.
Throughout the year, students will review alumni profiles and send a message through UCLA ONE to request mentorship.
2.
You will review request(s) and can accept or decline mentee(s). You can do this though the “UCLA Alumni Mentor Program” tab on the right, under “Mentor requests and approvals.”
3.
Once you’ve confirmed your maximum number of mentees, update your settings on UCLA ONE by going to your profile, then select “Edit Profile” and under “Offer Mentorship” uncheck “UCLA Alumni Mentor Program” to turn off your availability.
4.
After confirming a mentee(s), you are officially part of the UCLA Alumni Mentor Program. Connect with your student right away to set up your first video or phone conversation. You can refer to our online Welcome Packet to get started with your mentee.


Mentoring Graduate Students Webinar:

 

Graduate Students

About the UCLA Alumni Mentor Program

As a UCLA graduate student, you have exclusive access to a robust network of alumni who are eager and willing to meet you and share their wisdom and advice about life beyond UCLA.

The UCLA Alumni Mentor Program is a unique opportunity for you to form meaningful and lasting relationships with advanced degree alumni that will extend beyond campus walls. As a program participant, you’ll have a chance to request a mentor to assist you with academic guidance, career advice and personal development. This program is a student-initiated mentorship program, where you request mentorship from the alumni you are most interested in. Once you are accepted by your mentor, you cultivate and nurture the relationship. We encourage mentors and students to connect on a regular basis (e.g., by phone, video conference or email). However, the frequency and form of communication are things you both can determine.

Key Dates and Resources

Any mentorship pairings made during the 2020-2021 academic year commit you to one another until June 2021.

Please click here for resources for graduate student participants.

If you have questions, please contact alumnimentor@alumni.ucla.edu.

For more information, see the FAQs

How do I participate?

1.
Register / Log in to uclaone.com (on a computer, not a mobile device)

2.
Complete / Update your profile by clicking on “Edit Profile” on the top right
 
Upload a professional photo
 
Include academic, volunteer and professional experience
 
Under the “About Me” section, answer the student question: “What do you hope to learn from an alumni mentor?”
 
Make sure to click “Save” at the bottom of the page to save all changes.
3.
Search and review Alumni Mentor profiles on UCLA ONE using the Directory tab:
 
Once on the directory page, make sure to select the tab “Mentors” (located near the top).
 
Filter your search using the following categories:

UCLA: field of study, degree, grad year, communities (e.g. First Gen, LGBTQIA, Veteran)
Work: company, industry, job function
Location: city, state, country
Keyword search
Students can request a mentor by following step 4 below:
4.
Click “Request Mentorship” button on your ideal mentor’s profile (located on the right side within the person’s profile). Personalize your message in the message pop-up box and then click “Send.” You are allowed to request only ONE alumni mentor.
 
Introduce yourself (name, year, major) and include any relevant campus, volunteer or work experience
 
Explain what you hope to learn from an alumni mentor and why you feel he/she would be the best fit
 
Include reference(s) to information in the mentor’s profile (such as education, job, industry or volunteer experience)
 
Conclude by asking if he/she would be interested in mentoring you as part of the UCLA Alumni Mentor Program and thank him/her for their consideration
 
DO NOT REQUEST MENTORSHIP WITHOUT INCLUDING A PERSONALIZED MESSAGE
5.
There is no deadline to make a request; however, if you do not hear back regarding your request after two weeks, you can cancel your request and submit a new request to another potential mentor.

If your requested mentor confirms, you are officially part of the UCLA Alumni Mentor Program. Don’t hesitate to start connecting as soon as you are approved! You can refer to our online Welcome Packet to get started with your mentor.


Graduate Student Information Session:

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Alumni

Why should I participate in the UCLA Alumni Mentor Program?

UCLA graduate students have unique experiences that you can help navigate. With your wisdom and guidance, we can work together to make sure UCLA graduate students get the most out of their programs. In the spirit of Bruins helping Bruins, we hope the mentorship provides lasting relationships that will continue to grow and evolve far beyond Westwood.

What is expected of me as a mentor?

The UCLA Alumni Mentor Program is designed to engage alumni volunteers of all backgrounds and experience levels. Upon your approval of a student’s request, you commit to a mentorship until June 2021. We encourage mentors and students to connect on a regular basis (e.g., once-a-month phone call, Zoom meeting or email conversation). However, the frequency and form of communication are things you both can determine. We encourage you to share how you’ve translated your degree into industry or academic success, connect the mentee with relevant connections, or share your strategies to navigate their program. Throughout the year, we’ll offer tips on effective mentorship techniques, topics to discuss with your student and suggested activities to connect. Our team will also be standing by to answer any questions you might have. Prior mentorship experience is not required.

How long is the commitment?

The commitment as a mentor lasts until June 2021.

How will a mentor match be made?

Once you register for the UCLA Alumni Mentor Program through UCLA ONE (uclaone.com) you’ll be part of our exclusive, online mentoring community. UCLA graduate students will have a chance to register and review mentor profiles to find a mentor who fits their interests and career goals. Once a graduate student finds the ideal mentor, the student will click on the profile and send a message to request mentorship. From there, alumni will review mentorship request(s) and approve grad student(s) accordingly.

How many students can I mentor?

We recommend you mentor one to two students throughout the year. Most of our volunteers choose to mentor one student. You can update your mentor preferences on the UCLA ONE platform.

What should I look for in a mentee?

Each request will be different, but we encourage mentors to look for a fit that aligns with areas you are willing to share and nurture. Some students may express an interest in your mentorship to guide them professionally and others may share something personal like a hometown or background. You are permitted to ask follow-up questions to the students on UCLA ONE to help you determine which student you will accept.

What if I receive more than one request for mentorship?

If you receive multiple requests, you will be able to review each student’s profile before confirming a request. We hope you’ll accept as many mentees as you feel fit to mentor, but you do have the option to decline a student if you simply don’t have time or think it’s the wrong fit. We recommend you mentor one to two students throughout the year. Most of our volunteers choose to mentor one student.

I’m still receiving messages from students requesting mentorship, yet I have already accepted my maximum number of mentees?

Once you have approved your mentee(s) request for mentorship, you will want to unselect the “UCLA Alumni Mentor Program” box under “Offer Mentorship” in your profile. You can do so by clicking on “Edit Profile,” then scrolling down to “Offer Mentorship” and unchecking “UCLA Alumni Mentor Program.” this will signal that you are no longer available for mentorship and thus no longer accepting requests.

What if I want to continue mentoring the student beyond the academic year?

Alumni are welcome to continue mentoring their students as long as they are willing and able.

Can I mentor someone who doesn’t share my degree?

Yes! If you receive a request from someone who doesn’t share your degree, you are welcome to accept them. We hope you will select a student that you are interested in mentoring.

What if I don’t receive any requests for mentorship from students?

We encourage you to complete your UCLA ONE profile by including all relevant professional, academic, and volunteer experience. In addition, we have included the opportunity to answer the question, “Why do you want to mentor a graduate student?” That will provide students with the best information to request mentorship. If you aren’t requested for mentorship during October or November, you may be requested throughout the year. With the current pandemic, more students are in need of virtual mentorship and may turn to you after November. The Alumni Association will also reach out to you sporadically to see if you’d be willing to participate in other programs.

Graduate Students

Why should I participate as a graduate student in the UCLA Alumni Mentor Program?

As a UCLA graduate student, you have exclusive access to a robust network of alumni who are eager and willing to meet you and share their wisdom and advice about life beyond UCLA. The UCLA Alumni Mentor Program is a unique opportunity for you to form meaningful and lasting relationships with alumni in a virtual setting. The program is student-driven in that you request mentors that fit your interests and nurture the relationship throughout the year.

What is expected of me as a mentee?

The UCLA Alumni Mentor Program is designed to engage alumni volunteers of all backgrounds and experience levels. We ask that you commit yourself to nurturing a mentorship relationship until June 2021, and request a mentor that is aligned with values important to you (education, industry, or personal background). We encourage you to connect with your mentor on a regular basis (e.g., once-a-month phone call, zoom meeting or email conversation). However, the frequency and form of communication are things you both can determine. The UCLA Alumni Mentor Program is about building your professional network, personal development and gaining academic and career advice. This program is not a direct pipeline to a job or internship, though it can often help with opportunities in the future.

How long is the commitment?

The commitment as a student mentee lasts until June 2021. Students can review profiles and send requests to their preferred mentor. Alumni will review your request(s) and confirm/select student mentee(s) through the UCLA ONE site. Once this happens, you will be officially part of the UCLA Alumni Mentor Program.

How will a mentor match be made?

Throughout the year, you will have a chance to register and review mentor profiles to find a mentor who fits your interests and career goals. Once you find your ideal mentor, you will click on the alumni profile and send a message to request mentorship. From there, alumni will review mentorship request(s) and approve student(s) accordingly.

Is there a limit to how many mentor requests I can send?

You are only allowed to send one mentor request. Make sure to review alumni profiles carefully and send your request to the alumnus who best fits your interests and career goals. If your request is not answered, you can cancel your request to make a request to someone else.

I reached out to someone, and did not receive a response. What should I do?

We ask that you give alumni enough time to respond, typically 2-3 days. Keep in mind that mentors are busy with their professions and personal lives, so please be considerate of their time. If you do not receive a mentorship request acceptance, please do not send a follow-up message asking alumni if they received your request and would like to be your mentor. You can elect to cancel your request and send a request to someone else. You may contact alumnimentor@alumni.ucla.edu if you have any questions.

What if the mentor I was interested in connecting with is no longer is willing to help?

Once a mentor has accepted their mentee match, they will update their profile to indicate that they are no longer accepting mentor requests. Unfortunately, you will need to select another potential mentor.

What if I want to continue my mentor/mentee match beyond the academic year?

You are welcome to stay connected with your mentor as long as they are willing and able to help.

Can I request a mentor who lives outside of Los Angeles?

We welcome you to do so! Alumni Mentors do not have to live in Los Angeles to participate. You can connect with your mentor via phone calls, email, Zoom or FaceTime and still have a great connection. The mentorship is driven by your willingness to nurture the mentorship and keep the relationship going. The more you connect and ask questions, the better your experience will be.

Can I request a mentor who doesn’t share my graduate program?

Yes! You can request anyone who has noted they are willing to be a mentor. The UCLA Alumni Association is doing our part to recruit advanced degree alumni, but if there is someone else that you are interested in, please don’t hesitate to send them a request.

How do I sign up to be a mentee?

It is quick and simple to sign up to be a mentee. Please follow these steps to sign up on UCLA ONE.

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