As a formal start to this year’s Glendon Alumni Mentorship Program, where mentors are matched with students interested in pursuing a career in a similar field, Rosanna Furgiuele, Glendon’s associate principal of Student Services and coordinator of student exchanges, hosted a festive dinner on Nov. 10.
In existence since 2005, the Alumni Mentorship Program pairs Glendon alumni who have been practising their career for at least three years with current students, most of whom are in their third or final year of studies.
Right: Participants in this year’s mentorship program with Rosanna Furgiuele (front right)
The program is defined through a detailed set of documents, distributed to participants, outlining each partner’s role, the commitment being made on both sides, how a first meeting should be approached and potential topics for discussion. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet at least once a month. Mentees are expected to approach these meetings well-prepared, with questions and topics they would like to discuss.
Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts welcomed the participants and expressed his appreciation of the existence of such a program. “When I went to university, we believed that you could not trust anyone over 30,” said McRoberts. “Today, I understand the wisdom that can be acquired through experience. But in fact, without realizing it, all of us have mentors at various times in our lives, whether they are professors, thesis supervisors, members of the staff or of our families, and all of them have helped us make choices for our future.”
McRoberts thanked the alumni participants and acknowledged that Glendon graduates as a whole identify strongly with this institution and are committed to giving back. He also congratulated the participating students for having the wisdom to want to learn from older people with experience.
Left: Participants mingled at the dinner
Jeffrey Ball, manager of Alumni Support & Campus Partnerships at York’s Alumni & Advancement Services, which provided financial support for the dinner, conveyed a warm welcome from the Alumni Office and confirmed its continued support of this worthwhile program. “Our office’s purpose is to maintain close contact with our alumni and to help improve and enhance the student experience,” said Ball. “Successful students become devoted alumni who want to give back to the University.”
These kinds of programs were not available when Furgiuele was a student, but she wished that they had been. “Alumni working with students can be catalysts for the job market by giving advice, presenting the realities of the world of work and providing real experience to students,” she said. “Mentors may help mentees recognize some of their hidden talents and special skills, and prepare them for the job search. They can also identify marketable skills and networking opportunities.”
One of the original mentors, Ken Gingerich (BA ’77), who has participated in the program for the entire five years of its existence, expressed his enthusiasm for its continuation. “My mentees and I have worked on networking and interviewing skills. But it has been much more than that, we have developed ongoing relationships which extended beyond the school year. I have maintained contact with several of my mentees and it has been a satisfying and fruitful experience for both sides.”
Participants in the Glendon Alumni Mentorship Program make a commitment for one school year. There will be reporting at the conclusion, as well as a closing dinner where people can exchange experiences and reconnect with others in the program.
Submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny