Student & Alumni Mentorship Program

The Mentorship Program was created to help foster meaningful relationships between current students and alumni, who can offer a career advice, a professional network and guidance on how students can maximize their MMU experience.

Empowering the next generation of leaders

"I’ve received an amazing internship and another person added to my network. It has completely changed my life and how I view myself as a leader and a working professional."
– Lauren Imhoff ’23 | Student Mentee

A unique opportunity for Mount Mercy students and alumni

There are many benefits to this partnership—an alumni mentor can provide students with knowledge and advice, help expand their professional network, and guide them through expectations in certain careers and industries.

Mentors are often a great source of encouragement during life’s challenges. They can help a person become a better communicator, share career opportunities, and boost their confidence and professionalism, helping them achieve their personal and professional goals.

On the other hand, mentoring is a great way to invest in the next generation and make a positive influence on their professional and personal development. Through mentoring, one can expand their own leadership skills, pass on knowledge, and gain a greater sense of connection to their community. 

Tonya Kramer, posing for a photo in the university center commons

I appreciate all the feedback I get when I talk about my plans and thoughts about my future, whether it be about my future career, my current position as a student, or any other opportunities I have. I really enjoy having someone I can talk to who has experience in the field that I want to enter.

Tonya Kramer ’24
Student Mentee

How do I join?

Bringing the coMMUnity together

Students: The Mentorship Program is open to all current Mount Mercy students, whether traditional or non-traditional, graduate or undergraduate, in-person or online.

Alumni: The Mentorship Program is open to Mount Mercy alumni from all over the globe. If you’re interested in having a remote partnership and committing to meeting virtually or by phone, you can indicate this format within your application.

All student mentee and alumni mentor applications for the upcoming academic year are due June 1. We recommend including as much detail as possible to ensure a great match. You will receive basic information about one another prior to being matched to get the best possible experience from your mentoring arrangement.

   Request a mentor   

Apply to be a mentor

How the program works

The mentorship program is for the duration of one academic year

  • Student and alumni applications are due June 1 for the upcoming academic year (September-May).
  • All applicants (both students and alumni) will be notified the first week of August with an update on their match status.
  • To make sure you feel supported and equipped with the right tools for a successful mentoring year, mentee and mentor training sessions are facilitated in early September.
  • We recommend that mentees and mentors meet once or twice a month during the academic year to build a strong relationship and get to know one another.

September 1

  • 5:00-8:00 PM: Student Mentee Training!
    This training will cover all of your anticipated questions about having a mentor (like "What happens if I change my major?"), as well as provide you with resources to help navigate the program.

September 8

  • 5:00-6:00 PM: Alumni Mentor Training!
    This training will provide mentors with the resources and tools needed as well as cover any of your questions.

  • 6:00-7:00 PM: Meeting Your Mentee!
    Alumni and student matches will be invited to attend a guided dinner on campus immediately following training.

During the academic year, there are several networking and career-focused opportunities on-campus and virtually for matches to attend together.

Kathy Harriott, posing for a photo

I enjoyed the mentor experience as it allowed me to stay closely connected to Mount Mercy through the mentor/student experience. I was able to hear and understand the MMU student experience, provide career support and advice, and provide support without smothering and guidance without parenting. I was able to share in the joy of my student’s successes. I was so proud when my student graduated and found herself now working on the Hill!

Kathy (Ebel) Harriott '87
Alumni Mentor

Frequently asked questions

Mount Mercy peer mentors are focused on helping their peers have a positive student experience. They can help mentees navigate the typical challenges of first-year students and will often share their own experiences or lessons they've learned.

Staff mentors serve a similar role but are more focused on connecting mentees with the appropriate campus resources. They also provide a safe space to ask questions about classes, campus, and the Mount Mercy community.

A faculty advisor specializes in helping students chart a course to graduate within a specific major. They are well versed in the Mount Mercy course catalog and academic requirements, as well as what electives and domain courses align best with their interests.

In this program, a mentor is typically not a current staff member, faculty member, or student at Mount Mercy, so they bring a different perspective to their interactions. While they can share details from their own student experiences, mentors will often be more focused on helping mentees navigate challenges outside of campus, such as identifying professional opportunities, evaluating graduate school options, expanding professional skills, and networking within their industry.

The offices of Career Services, Student Services, and Development & Alumni Relations review all mentor and mentee applications to facilitate a deliberate match. Matches are based on a variety of criteria such as career interests, academic experiences, shared interests or hobbies, and educational backgrounds.

Matches identified for the upcoming academic year will be notified in early August.

Because we want to ensure the best fit between our mentees and mentors, we may not always have the right match at the time. Any mentor applicants who are not immediately matched with a mentee will be held on file and considered for future mentoring opportunities. With several career-focused events happening throughout the year, we may also reach out and request your participation.

While every effort is made to ensure that our mentor-mentee matches are a good fit, there may be times when a long-term commitment no longer suits your needs. Jennifer McNabb, Director of Project Connect, or Kalindi Garvin, Director of Career Services, can help you with any changes to your mentoring arrangements.

While an internship is not an expectation of the mentoring arrangement, it is certainly possible under the right circumstances.

Not all mentors will be in roles with hiring authority or in industries that offer internships, so this would be arranged on a case-by-case basis.

The most successful mentors focus on the whole person and not just on professional identity. However, it often takes time to get to that place of trust with a new relationship.

During your first few meetings, you both may be more comfortable keeping your conversations focused on academic and professional success. As you get to know one another more, expanding your discussions to include your personal goals and challenges may come naturally—this is an ideal area for students to take cues from a mentor.

If you're both interested in talking about more areas of life right from the start, feel free to share what you’re comfortable with.

Contact us

The mentorship program is facilitated by the Student Services, Career Services, and Development & Alumni Relations Offices.

If you have any questions about this program or application, please don't hesitate to contact us.

mcnabb-jennifer.jpg

Jennifer McNabb

Director, Project Connect
319-363-1323 x1396
jmcnabb@mtmercy.edu

 

garvin-kalindi_WEB.jpg

Kalindi Garvin '16

Director, Career Services
319-363-1323 x1620
kgarvin@mtmercy.edu 

ortmann-morgan-2021.jpg

Morgan Ortmann '17

Director, Alumni Relations
319-363-1323 x 1828
mortmann@mtmercy.edu