Having just completed a summer internship, a student was inspired to get her career going and to start making connections in her field.

Even though her career advisor was a great support, she wanted to connect with someone already doing the work she wanted to do who could serve as a mentor.

This Redbird is not alone. In fact, most students feel a little uneasy when starting their careers. To help them get started, Career Services is pleased to introduce the Alumni Mentor Network.

“Students have always asked for ways to connect directly with alumni. The Alumni Mentor Network is the perfect way for Redbirds to help Redbirds,” said Career Services Associate Director Natalie R. Alexander, who established the network at Illinois State.

The Alumni Mentor Network is a program that connects students with alumni who are specifically volunteering to serve as mentors. Students are able to tap into the professional expertise of alumni while alums have an opportunity to share their time and talent while making an impact in the lives of future professionals.

“It’s a great connection opportunity for all Redbirds,” Alexander said.

Getting started

Located within Hire-A-Redbird, using the Alumni Mentor Network is easy. Alumni interested in serving as a mentor simply activate their Hire-A-Redbird account by completing their profile using the secure Alumni Mentor Network registration. Once accepted, successful alumni will receive an email with helpful videos, attachments, and a link back to their profile to update, or even pause their participation at any time.

Students will review the list of volunteer alumni, send selected alumni a message within the program to introduce themselves and request one to serve as their mentor. Once the connection is made, the two coordinate the mentorship among themselves.

“Alumni mentors can help students with how to interview, develop successful networking techniques, and share career-specific tips and tricks,” Alexander said. “Career Services will provide a variety of tools to the mentors to help them be successful. It’s the perfect way for alumni to connect with current students and help shape the next generation of successful Redbirds.”