Career Mentoring with the University of Alberta Career Centre

Career Mentoring with the University of Alberta Career Centre

November 21, 2019 0 By Kody Olson


This is Mimi. She is a hard-working student at the University
of Alberta. Hello Mimi! Ahem… Hello Mimi! Oh sorry, hello! Mhm… As I was saying… Mimi is very interested in learning more about
her degree and how she can use it after she graduates. I sure am! But she needs some ideas on how to get there. She doesn’t know any working professionals
in her field and would like to learn more about what actually occurs in the worlplace. Yeah, I guess I have quite a bit to learn
still. Mimi, it sounds like you need some direction. Yeah, that sounds nice! Just someone to help you out? Yeah! Maybe even a mentor? Someone to share their career strategies? Yes! That’s it! A Career Mentor. A Career Mentor? What’s that? How about we ask someone that actually works
at the U of A Career Centre? I’m just a voice… This is one of the fine advisors at the Career
Centre. Hi there! Oh, hi! I didn’t see you there. How can I help you? I know a student named Mimi… Hello! She wants to know what it means to have a
Career Mentor. What can you tell us about the program? Great question, Mimi! Well, a Career Mentor is someone that meets
with you on a monthly basis to discuss your career goals, your uncertainties, and your
next steps. Your Career Mentor wants you to succeed and
is willing to share their own experience as well as give you advice on the working world. That sounds interesting, but how do I find
a mentor? Well first off, you need to sign up for the program and let
us know what you’re hoping to achieve exactly. Are you looking to maybe reduce some career
anxieties? Are you looking to explore new career options? Yes, I want all of those things. Based on the responses that you provide and
the goals that you want to achieve, we here at the Career Centre will match students and
post-doctoral fellows with a suitable mentor. Even though I’m interested, I’m not sure what
goals I would like to explore. Don’t worry, Mimi. The Career Centre will work with you to help
you identify your goals, which may include enhancing one or all four of the following
areas: Skills, Knowledge, Attitude, or Connections. Skills, such as being able to work in teams
effectively are important. You may be able to im prove your teamwork skills
by observing how work is shared at your mentor’s workplace. I’d like to improve my communication skills! There, you’re getting it already. Ah! When you want to know what an industry is
like, what the expectations are in that field of work, and what your resume and cover letter
should look like, you can ask your mentor for this knowledge and they can help you find
the answers to your questions to help you succeed. Exactly! What can you tell us about Attitudes? For example, let’s say you lost motivation
because you don’t think there are any jobs out there, so you’ve stopped your job search. Maybe you just need the right attitude to
start your work search on the right foot. You mean I can get a job in my field? I felt so hopeless. Yes, hopelessness is, unfortunately, an example
of a type of attitude that can hold you back. Mimi, have you heard the phrase, “It’s not
about what you know, but who you know”? Yes! If you don’t know anyone, a mentor can introduce
you to their colleagues and you can practice your networking skills to help you build a
professional reputation. You’ve done your research! So what do you think? Do you think that will really work for me? I’m worried it might not help. We actually get that concern a lot here at
the Career Centre because many students are focused primarily on school, as it should be. Yes! However, because of this, many students also
don’t see the benefits of mentoring. Ah, but the value of mentors comes in their
ability to share their experiences, failures, and advice. That saves you time and frustration in this
complex world. That’s exactly right, Voice! But I’m really busy with school and my part-time
job. I just might not have the time. Well Mimi, the program lasts at least 6 months, but at
minimum you’ll be contributing only one or two hours of your time per month. Hey, that’s not too bad! I think I can manage that. Throughout this whole experience you’ll be
meeting with your mentor about twice a month or so. You’ll be learning from each other, and you’ll
be attending professional development events to help enhance and deepen your experience
as a mentee. That’s great! I think I’m ready to get started. That’s awesome! If you’re interested in learning more about
the University of Alberta Career Centre’s Career Mentoring Program, please visit our
website at UAB.ca/CC.