Welcome to our alumni mentor program home page. We are thrilled to announce the second offering of this program! It was piloted last summer (2017) and provides professional mentoring to PhD students and postdocs, as well as opportunities for alumni to reconnect with fellow peers.
Southern California is a vibrant academic and business community, home to numerous universities and biotechnology companies. We aim to recruit alumni holding diverse positions that are willing to give their time, knowledge and expertise to mentor current UCI trainees. We believe our program will increase career awareness as well as create a community where not only current trainees, but also alumni can expand their networks. Click here to view the roster of our 2018 Alumni Mentors.
Our scientists undergo excellent research training but often lack exposure to diverse industries and external mentorship, which are essential components of successful career transitions. To address this gap, our mentorship program pairs current trainees with UCI graduate and postdoctoral alumni working in a variety of fields. The program is designed to meet the following goals:
- Increase awareness of career opportunities available to PhD’s
- Build a supportive community where mentors and mentees can openly discuss career advancement and preparedness
- Expand networks for both trainees and alumni
Program Structure & Time Commitment
This program will run for 4 months and will include two on-campus breakfast events and one online meeting.* The format is intended to help attendees connect and build mentor-mentee relationships. Alumni mentors and trainees are required to attend the on-campus meetings, and the time commitment for the entire program is estimated to be 12hr.
Prior to the first meeting on June 1st, trainees will review alumni bios and will participate in a workshop that will cover: program expectations, tips for developing meaningful connections, and fundamentals of professional etiquette. Similarly, alumni will receive material that will provide tips and suggestions for developing a mentoring plan.
Trainee Workshops, Led by Bri McWhorter & Emma Flores-Kim, Tuesday, May 29th, 12 – 1PM, Location: Natural Sciences 2-4201
- This workshop is required for all trainees accepted into the program.
On-campus breakfast #1, Friday, June 1st, 8 – 10AM, Location: UCI Applied Innovation
- 8:00AM: Alumni mentors arrive, get breakfast, and settle in for a brief presentation that will cover: program expectations and strategies to build lasting mentoring relationships.
- 8:30AM: Trainees arrive
- 8:35AM: General welcome & brief opening statements by alumni mentors (Mentor prompt: Why are you here today?)
- 8:45 – 10AM: Meet & greet (Mentors will be stationed at tables, trainees will be free to move around. 10 minute intervals will be announced)
At this first meeting, trainees and alumni will meet and mingle for just over 1hr. Both groups will be advised to wait until the event ends to establish mentor-mentee pairings. Following the event, trainees will begin reaching out to potential alumni mentors and alumni will reserve the privilege of accepting or declining a mentee. Mentors should not accept more than two mentees. Once pairings are established, mentors and mentees will determine subsequent activities—e.g. in-person meetings, shadowing, networking events, book clubs, etc.
Online Meeting, Exact date/time: TBD
This online meeting will feature a new platform developed by the UCI Alumni Association. It will provide a scheduled time for mentors and mentees to check in, review mentoring plans, and continue to get to know one another. More details about the online platform will be provided to all members in the coming months.
On-campus breakfast #2, Friday, September 14th, 8 – 10AM, Location: UCI Applied Innovation
- 8:00AM: Members arrive, get breakfast, and mingle
- 8:30AM: General welcome & brief opening statements by trainees (Trainee prompt: What have you gained from this experience?)
- 8:45 – 9:30AM: Mentor-mentee pair meetings
- 9:30 – 10AM: Free networking & mingling
This final meeting will provide a scheduled time for mentors and mentees to check in and discuss lessons learned and recommended future steps.
Evaluation & Sustainability
Alumni mentors and trainees will be asked to complete two event surveys following each on-campus meeting. The information collected will be used to assess the program’s implementation as well as it’s ability to reach targeted goals. We intend to use this feedback to sustain future offerings and expand the program in the coming years.
Thanks for your attention and making it this far! If you are interested in becoming an alumni mentor, please contact: Emma Flores, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org.