MENTOR PROGRAM FAQs
The VSB Mentor Program brings VSB students and alumni volunteers together in one-to-one relationships to support the student’s career and professional development goals. Mentors share industry insights, facilitate career exploration and provide job search support, networking guidance, communication tips and more. All student mentees and alumni mentors opt in and are paired based on the student’s primary field of interest, desired work location and skill-building goals.
A student mentee who actively engages with their mentor will learn first-hand about the career paths and industries in which they are most interested. An alumni mentor is a personalized resource who shares their knowledge and experience to help a student achieve their goals. By engaging in a mentoring relationship, a student mentee grows their skillset, confidence and network too!
Mentees and mentors are both expected to engage in their mentoring relationship – and connect monthly for a live conversation (via phone, in-person, FaceTime, Zoom or other platform).The most successful student mentees take ownership of their mentoring relationship, share their goals with their mentor, and actively communicate throughout the relationship. Students are encouraged to initiate meetings, identify agenda items, share updates, ask for advice, listen, be appreciative and use time wisely.
No. While some students have specific career goals when they join the VSB Mentor Program as a student mentee, many do not. Student mentees often enjoy exploring career and industry options with their alumni mentors as part of their mentoring relationship.
Eligible students will be invited to join the VSB Mentor Program via the Chronus mentoring system. VSB students, including students pursuing a business minor, will be invited in early February of their sophomore year. Summer Business Institute (SBI) juniors and seniors will be invited in September following their SBI experience.
VSB and business minor students will be invited to join the VSB Mentor Program in early February of their sophomore year. The mentor selection process will follow and typically concludes by the end of March.
Summer Business Institute (SBI) juniors and seniors will be invited in September following SBI. The mentor selection process will follow and typically concludes in October.
Business minors are eligible to join the VSB Mentor Program in their sophomore year, spring semester. Juniors and seniors who earn their business minor by completing the Summer Business Institute (SBI) program, are eligible to join the Program in September, following their completion of SBI.
If you are a Villanova alumnus with more than three years of business experience, you are invited to volunteer as an alumni mentor here. Eligible alumni are welcome to join anytime.
The mentor selection process—during which student mentees select their alumni mentor—occurs in February/March and September/October.
Mentees often discuss topics like career exploration, internship and job search, interview preparation, networking and leadership development with their mentors. They are encouraged to share their goals, challenges and on-campus activities, too.
Mentors may help a student mentee polish their resume, prepare for career fairs, interviews and internships, or evaluate job opportunities. Mentors also share industry knowledge and trends with their mentees as well as how they engage in professional organizations to support their own professional development.
Many pairs discuss Villanova Men’s basketball – and other common interests! Alumni enjoy learning about what is happening on campus and about their mentee’s student experience.
Villanova alumni with more than three years of business experience are eligible to serve as VSB Mentor Program alumni mentors.
VSB Mentor Program alumni mentors enjoy sharing their knowledge and experience with a Villanova student, helping them explore career paths and industries of interest, and supporting their professional development growth. Many alumni appreciate the opportunity to re-connect with Villanova and “pay it forward” by mentoring the next generation of business leaders.
Additionally, mentoring someone junior to you is an opportunity to:
- Demonstrate your leadership skills
- Take delight in helping others Grow their network
- Learn from your mentee’s Gen Z perspective
- Create a space for self-reflection
- Impact a young professional’s career and potentially life
Mentors and mentees are both expected to engage in their mentoring relationship – and connect monthly for a live conversation (via phone, in-person, FaceTime, Zoom, or other technology). The most successful alumni mentors understand their mentee’s goals, actively listen, encourage questions, and share their knowledge and experience in an understandable way. The VSB Mentor Program has a strong culture of respect and integrity - and values professionalism, confidentiality and inclusion when engaging with participants.
The annual mentor selection process begins in February and typically concludes by the end of March. A second mentor selection process runs September through October for Summer Business Institute junior and senior business minors). Students drive the process and review their “best match” mentors, recommended by the Chronus system algorithm, to determine which mentor they feel is best fit based on the student’s interests, career path and preferred location. The student will then send their selected mentor a connection request (via Chronus). An alumni mentor who receives a connection request should review the student’s profile and connection request and reply promptly. Once an alumni mentor accepts the connection request, a mentoring connection is official and can begin!
Mentoring relationships begin when a student mentee and an alumni mentor are officially connected in Chronus during the mentor selection process; this is typically in February or March of the student mentee’s sophomore year. All mentoring relationships continue until the student’s graduation – or beyond, if the pair chooses to extend it!
All VSB Mentor Program relationships are 1:1, so each student mentee works with one alumni mentor. Throughout the course of a mentor’s time in the VSB Mentor Program, there will be times when you are working 1:1 with a student mentee in a mentoring relationship and times when you are not connected to a student mentee in a mentoring relationship.
If you are interested in networking with additional student mentees, please consider joining the Flash Mentoring track as well. See below for more information on Flash Mentoring.
All VSB Mentor Program relationships are 1:1, so each student mentee works with their selected alumni mentor until they graduate from Villanova University. If you are interested in networking with additional alumni mentors, please consider participating in Flash Mentoring as well. See below for more information on Flash Mentoring.
Flash Mentoring is a way for participating junior and senior student mentees to leverage the VSB Mentor Program and connect with additional (one or more) alumni mentors for a one-time meeting.
Students who engage in Flash Mentoring expand their VU network, learn about different career paths, gain industry insights and meet alumni with shared interests (ex. MBA, law school, working abroad, etc.). Alumni participating in Flash Mentoring have the opportunity to impact multiple students.
Junior and senior mentees and alumni mentors participating in the VSB Mentor Program will be invited to join the Flash Mentoring track during the Fall semester. Participation is optional.
Anyone can nominate a mentoring pair to be featured as a VSB Mentor Program Success Story! Please email email@example.com to nominate a mentoring pair – even if it’s you and your mentor/mentee!
Advisory Board members are ambassadors for the VSB Mentor Program and the value of mentoring. Student mentees, alumni and alumni mentors who are passionate about mentoring and its impact can volunteer to serve as Advisory Board members. Contact Michele Gianforcaro at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more.