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Discussion Starters

Alumna and Student Talking at an event

Coming with topics and questions will help you get the conversation going.

For Advisees: Questions to Ask

  1. What is your advice for someone moving to the area (good churches, places to live, ways to get connected, etc)?
  2. How did you choose a grad school program?
  3. What advice would you give your college self? What advice would you give a graduating senior?
  4. What are the most important skills for success in this field?
  5. I’m intrigued by ____ job. Could you tell me what a day-in-the-life is like?
  6. How do you see your faith play out in your work environment?
  7. How do you strike a good work-life balance?
  8. What kind of training and experience do you need to get into this field?
  9. What is one thing you have learned from living abroad?
  10. What books, journals, or classes would you recommend?
  11. What was your first job after college?

For Advisers: Topics to Discuss

You can play a pivotal role in equipping students and young alumni for life after college in any or all of the following ways:

  • Discuss how your education prepared you for your career
  • Ask questions about an advisee's gifts and passions
  • Share information about a current event or issue in your field
  • Recommend helpful networking strategies
  • Introduce your advisee to colleagues or other contacts
  • Offer guidance on where to look for job/internships in your field
  • Critique your advisee's resume and/or cover letter
  • Lead your advisee through a mock interview

Mentoring Relationships: Expectations to Set

Remember: Mentees should ask their mentor to walk alongside them over the next six months (or period of time they both agree on) as they pursue a specific goal. Both parties should plan to interact together at least two hours per month.

Agree on Expectations

  • When and how will you contact each other?
  • Who will initiate the meetings and interactions?
  • How often will you meet / interact?
  • If meetings do not occur as expected, how will you respond (what actions will you take)?
  • Do you have any other expectations / concerns not mentioned above?

Agree on Goals

  • What are your goals for this mentoring relationship?
  • What actions can you and your mentor/mentee take to achieve these goals?