Why a Mentorship Program?

The Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA) is focused on engaging Northwestern alumni and offering them meaningful opportunities to stay connected with one another and the University, as well as providing continued education, professional connections, and resources. The Mentorship Program was designed to help alumni connect with fellow alumni in their specific industry, to facilitate professional connections, assist alumni in growing professionally and offering resources for development.

A strong mentorship program has the power to mutually benefit mentors and mentees:

  • Students and alumni mentees have the opportunity to receive advice, guidance, and perspective from their mentors.
  • Alumni mentors have an opportunity to share their story and invest their time in a rewarding relationship with an alumnus/a or student who is eager to learn from them, as well as mutually learn from the mentee about their industry, profession, and perspective.

Why Is Mentorship Important?

There are countless publications that validate the significance and value of mentorship. But the easiest way to prove that mentorship is important is to ask yourself, “What advice do I wish someone would have given me when I … graduated from college … first started my career … made a significant career transition?” More than likely you have a number of ideas that come to mind. Imagine how valuable it would have been to be given helpful advice at that time of your life – that value speaks to the power of mentorship. Mentoring gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and advice with someone who is about to embark down the same path you traveled, and this is your chance to help them along the way.

“A formal mentorship program definitely helps facilitate connections more efficiently than doing it organically. When people participate in a program to connect mentors and mentees, you already know that everyone participating is open and willing to develop a relationship and put in the time required to have a successful mentorship relationship. Doing that organically would take more time, and there’s not as much of a framework established that also helps get these kinds of relationships up and running.”

~ Alex Van Atta, ’15