AUA Student-Alumni Mentorship Program

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“Mentorship is not just about helping others, but it is also about impacting others' opinions, careers, etc. I’ve always wanted to talk to someone with experience in a field that I consider to further specialize in. Majoring in English and Communications, I am also interested in the Political Science and International Affairs master’s program offered at AUA. Of course, there are open houses, information sessions, as well as willing students and faculty members who are always ready to provide assistance to students like me. Still, it was my mentor who helped me to understand what I really want to do with my career. This is one of the main reasons why I have applied to the mentorship program. If I were to describe the program in short, I would say one word - NETWORK, which is one of the most important things that I gained thanks to this program and my mentor, who has been providing me with the most valuable advice and opportunities.”

Dayana Amirkhanyan (BAEC ‘23)
Mentee

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“Sometimes in our lives, a photo, a song, a movie, or an acquaintance can change a lot; they can play the role of that last decisive drop that fills the cup. Mentors, in my view, are meant to act as people who help without imposing anything, who share without any expectation, who drive their mentees to ask questions they have never asked themselves. Nowadays, the younger generation is overwhelmed with a large mass of information and is terrified by the extraordinary expectations that society, their parents, and they themselves put on their shoulders in terms of reaching success and financial well-being. I see my role, inter alia, in showing my mentees the other facets of life and other ways of self-actualization aside from the conventional ones so deep-rooted among the youth.”

Aramazd Ghalamkaryan (MPSIA ‘00)
Mentor

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“It’s really nice to have alumni as our mentors. These are people who have graduated 12, 15 years ago, and they have had different experiences than we do, but at the same time, we have many things in common. I was matched with a very good mentor, founder of a business. We have very similar interests, which is great!”

Minehli Hakoupian (BAB ‘22)
Mentee

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“As an alumna of the Class of ‘93 I feel obligated to pass all my professional experience to the younger generation, so they can plan their academic and career paths. Being a mentor, one gets to know the younger generation of talented people who have a totally different way of thinking. It is nice to have a chance to lead them in the right direction. With my mentee, I had a great experience of re-discovering the great potential of the youth, who will take the responsibility of developing Armenia to become a strong and competitive country. I would like to extend my thanks to the Office of Alumni Relations for putting together such a comprehensive mentorship program.”

Karine Sarkissian (MBA ‘93)
Mentor

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“This program means a lot to me and gave me a lot as well. The match with my mentor was just perfect. We have already become good friends and are cooperating in different spheres in our business lives. The mentorship program is very useful, and I think it will help a lot of students to find the right path for their career.”

Petik Karapetyan (MBA ‘23)
Mentee

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“The mentorship program is a great initiative. When I was a student, I really needed someone to guide me and show me the real world outside, which indeed turned out to be drastically different from what I imagined. AUA not only taught us how to make a living, but also how to live. Nevertheless, it took me years of experience and lots of failures to adapt to the working environment, gain soft skills needed at work, and understand people around me. Through this mentorship program I tried to transfer some of that knowledge to my mentee, who is indeed a very talented young lady. On the other hand, I took this opportunity to repay a part of my huge debt to AUA. I owe my alma mater so much in terms of who I am today.”

Tina Esmaeili (MEIESM ‘09)
Mentor

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“I applied for this program because I know for sure that no matter what one does, one needs mentors in life. And not one, but many mentors. All that is required from a mentee is to decide what to learn from his/her mentor. From the very beginning, I was certain that the AUA Student-Alumni Mentorship program would definitely match me with a successful and knowledgeable mentor, and I wasn't mistaken. My mentor not only provided me with valuable advice but also with worldwide networking opportunities.

Azat Yeranosyan (BAB ‘24)
Mentee

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“One of the motivations for me to become a mentor within the AUA Student-Alumni Mentorship program was the opportunity to give back to the community that helped me when I was a student. Being a mentor has been an extremely fulfilling and fun experience for me. Having an amazing mentee, who is readily taking things we discuss and applying them to her professional development is very rewarding. Mentorship is definitely a two-way street, and as much as your mentees learn from your experience, you as a mentor, learn and develop as well. I would highly recommend folks to become more involved with this program, since it helps mentors to grow too and do self-reflection for which you might not find the time otherwise. My advice to new mentors would be to keep an open mind, re-evaluate the goals throughout the whole process, and constantly ask for feedback from their mentees.”

David Gevorkyan (MSCIS ‘08)
Mentor

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“When I was applying for the mentorship program, I particularly wanted to get some skills on passing job interviews, writing a good CV, and so on. However, the mentorship program has given me much more! My mentor shared his experience about all the smallest details on how one can successfully perform in a job interview, network, and talk with professionals. He also provided me with important tips on what one should consider when applying to study abroad. It was a pleasure for me to cooperate with someone with great work experience and a strong educational background. I will definitely continue to keep in touch with my mentor and reach out to him whenever I need advice.”

Hripsime Voskanyan (BSDS ‘23)
Mentee

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STUDENT-ALUMNI MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

The mission of the program is to facilitate meaningful mentoring relationships between experienced alumni and current students, with a focus on community building and networking.

Alumni


As AUA alumni you have an opportunity to give back to your university through this program, and to share your professional and personal experience with current AUA students.

Learn More

Students


As AUA students you have an exclusive chance to meet the network of alumni, who are eager to share their experience about their life in and beyond AUA.

Learn More

ALUMNI MENTORS

AUA Student-Alumni Mentorship Program Goals


Motivate the mentee to express belief and confidence in their abilities, and to encourage them to try new things;
Assist mentees with establishing and accomplishing short-term and long-term goals, both personal and professional;
Teach and advise the mentee how to make professional contacts, and introduce them to new people, places or ideas;
Explore and discuss with the mentee different career paths, companies, and industries;
Improve the mentee’s leadership, teamwork, creative thinking, decision making, and interpersonal skills;
Help the mentee to develop in order to achieve realistic and meaningful goals.

Who is a Mentor?


A mentor is a guide, role model, and resource. By taking this opportunity to share AUA education and professional experience, mentors have a chance to advise, influence, and support mentees on their journey from the university to the world. By dedicating their time, talents, and energy, mentors help mentees to achieve their personal, academic, and career goals.

What is Expected from a Mentor?


Being patient – allow the mentee to be the driver of the relationship through initiating contact and leading discussions.
Being consistent – communicate (via email, phone, face-to-face, video calls, etc.) at least two times per month.
Being supportive – help to set, track, and adjust mentee’s realistic goals.
Being responsive – try to respond to all communications in a timely manner.
Being professional – approach the mentoring relationship with an open mind, professionalism, and respect.

What is NOT Expected from a Mentor?


• Offering jobs.
• Initiating all contacts.
• Having all of the answers

Suggested Mentoring Activities for a Mentor


Need some ideas about what to do with your mentee? The following list is a great place to start:

Career conversations

• Discuss your educational background and the role of educational preparation in your field.
• Share information about a current event or issue in your field.
• Schedule a shadow visit, if appropriate.
• Attend a professional meeting or program together.
• Do a job search.
• Critique your mentee’s résumé and/or cover letter.
• Review your mentee’s LinkedIn profile.
• Lead your mentee through a mock interview.
• Offer guidance on where it is best to look for jobs/internships in your field.

Telling your story

• Tell your mentee how you prepared for your transition from university to the professional world. Share how you have balanced your personal and professional life obligations.
• If you could do it over, discuss what you would have done differently and what you would have done again at AUA.
• Talk about how you have dealt with personal or professional challenges.
• Share your networking pursuits.
• Introduce your mentee to colleagues or other contacts.
• Guide your mentee in how to conduct an informational interview.
• Attend an AUA networking event.

 

The Mentoring Relationship


For mentoring to be successful, there must be a mutual relationship between a mentor and a mentee. As with any important relationship, both parties should work to make it successful by being open-minded and respectful, and fulfilling the expectations that they have set for the relationship.

Benefits and Expectations for a Mentor


Mentoring will be a positive and enriching experience for mentors in terms of:

• Developing meaningful, purposeful connections with students;
• Refining their coaching and mentoring skills;
• Gaining insights into the experiences and habits of other generations;
• Learning more about AUA and the next generation of professionals;
• Experiencing a reconnection with AUA;
• Having an opportunity to give back to AUA; Expanding their professional network through contact with their mentee and other mentors.

How to Build a Mentoring Relationship?


Suggestions for Mentors

Every mentoring relationship is unique. Here are some guidelines to help you in creating a satisfying relationship with your mentee.


Get to know your mentee!

• Ask questions about your mentee’s interests, experiences, and background.
• Follow up on any important steps that your mentee has taken, such as a job interview or a leadership experience.
• Be an active listener by giving feedback to your mentee. Avoid interrupting and show interest through your voice and posture.


Set goals with your mentee!

• Setting goals with your mentee at the very beginning is critical because it gives direction to your relationship and guides you both throughout the mentorship process.
• If your mentee does not know their goals, ask questions such as, “What made you sign up for the mentoring program?” or “What are your specific concerns and questions right now?” or simply “How can I help you?”
• Remember, goal-setting can be a process, so make a point to check in and ask your mentee if their priorities are changing or evolving.


Set expectations with your mentee!

• Determine the forms of communication with your mentee.
• Schedule time for your next meeting – if only tentatively – at the end of each meeting.
• Keep the relationship a priority and ask your mentee to do the same.

Share and relate!

• Tell your mentee about yourself and your experiences. Share the lessons learned as a student at AUA, as well as any others that you have learned after graduation.
• Think about how you have learned from your mistakes and how your mentee might be able to learn from theirs too.
• Ask about your mentee’s current AUA experience.
• Avoid offering quick solutions. Ask your mentee what they are thinking and help them process their own ideas.
• Suggest things that your mentee might try. For example, “Have you looked into ...?” or “Something that I found helpful when I was at AUA was ...,” not “You should ...” or “You need to ...”
• Remember, advice is valuable and is usually appreciated, but even when the “advisee” does not take action in the way suggested, do not be discouraged. Making one’s own decisions is an important part of maturing.

Be a coach!

• Encourage your mentee to take reasonable risks, if proper circumstances present themselves. They might need a little push, but it will help them in the long run.
• Remember, students have much to learn from a professional like you – even things as simple as how to dress and how to be on time.
• Don’t hesitate to give your mentee helpful feedback if they are not acting in a professional manner – it could make a positive difference in a first interview, a job, or other life experience.

If you have any problems or concerns about the mentoring relationship or your mentee remains unresponsive for a prolonged period of time, initiate contact. If he/she doesn’t respond after multiple attempts, please contact the OAR staff at [email protected].

Student Mentees

Who is a Mentee?


A mentee is someone with a specific goal, who believes that their mentor’s guidance and help, as well as being held accountable can help them achieve their goal.
We hope that you will benefit from your mentoring relationship and will be able to:

• Build a professional network;
• Develop and enhance professional and communication skills;
• Connect academics and career, and acquire advice on experiences and courses that would be of greatest benefit to you;
• Explore new ideas and areas of interest;
• Gain exposure to career options, advice and job-search tips.

What is Expected from a Mentee?


Being responsible – be the driver of the relationship. Initiate contact and respond timely. Lead the discussions during your meetings.
Being consistent – communicate (via email, phone, video calls, face-to-face) at least two times per month.
Being accountable – agree and commit to your mutual expectations and goals.
Being professional – approach the mentoring relationship with an open mind, professionalism and respect. (Please do not ask for a job or sponsorship).
Being flexible and open-minded – be open to suggestions and constructive feedback.

The First Conversation:
A Guide for a Mentee


After being introduced to your mentor, try to build a connection with them. Think about what you might like to share with them – general background information (your hometown, where you grew up, what school you attended, etc.), your AUA experiences, extracurricular activities, hobbies, etc.

Setting Goals

It is highly encouraged to start discussing your goals for the mentoring relationship as soon as possible. Goals are important because they provide direction and clarity, and help to improve the success of the relationship. Before the first meeting, think of two or three things that you would like the mentor’s assistance with over the coming months.

How to make the first impression?

• Begin the session with a smile and confidently introduce yourself.
• Thank them for being your mentor.
• Create a profile of your current activities. Include things such as your major(s), minor(s), research projects, student activities, and recent jobs or internships.

Questions to Ask Your Mentor


Job-related questions

• What is your job title?
• What is your typical day on the job?
• What percentage of each day do you spend in various work activities?
• How free are you to do your work independently?
• What types of problems are you likely to face during the day?
• What are the most satisfying and the most frustrating parts of your work?

Advancement

• How did you get to your current position?
• What are the future trends and developments that you see affecting careers in your field?
Preparation

Preparation

• How did you prepare for this occupation?
• What preparations do you recommend for a person entering this field?
• What education/degrees/training/licenses are required?
• What are the best places to go for additional education or training for a position like yours?
• If you could start all over again in launching your career, what steps would you take?
• What courses do you recommend taking for this occupation?

Lifestyle

• What hours do you normally work?
• What are the professional organizations in this field?
• How do these organizations serve their members?
• What is expected of you outside of working hours?
• Is there a formal mentorship program set up in your workplace?
• Did you have a mentor? Who was/is your mentor?
• What types of activities do you enjoy outside of work?

How to Build a Mentoring Relationship?


Suggestions for Mentees

Here are some guidelines to help you create a satisfying relationship with your mentor.
Get to know your mentor!
Be sure to get to know your mentor on a personal level. While mentors are excellent career resources, you can learn a lot from their personal stories as well.

Set goals with your mentor!

• Setting goals with your mentor is critical because it gives direction and clarity to the mentoring relationship. It also increases the likelihood of a successful relationship.
• Think about what you hope to gain from this experience and what activities you might be interested in doing with your mentor. Here are some ideas:
• Review and update your résumé;
• Get tips on job and internship searches;
• Prepare for interviews;
• Discuss how to balance personal and professional priorities;
• Discuss graduate school;
• Attend a professional meeting or a program.

Remember, goal-setting is a process – priorities can and will evolve over time!

Set expectations with your mentor!

• Determine how and when you will communicate with each other.
• Schedule your next meeting time – if only tentatively – at the end of each meeting.
• Keep the relationship a priority. Even if you cannot meet or talk with your mentor very often, at least try to keep your communication consistent (e.g., send an email/message every couple of weeks).
• Be proactive. If your mentor has not responded to you in a while, do not be shy about sending another email message or calling them. They simply may have missed your previous message. If you don’t receive a response after several attempts, please contact the OAR staff at [email protected]

The Purpose of Goal Setting


Setting goals helps people to strive to achieve. Although goal-setting might be challenging, it is worthwhile. The intention is to increase efficiency and effectiveness by specifying desired outcomes. Goals are important because they:

• Guide and direct behavior;
• Provide clarity;
• Reflect what the goal-setters consider important;
• Help to improve performance;
• Increase the motivation to succeed;
• Instill pride in and encourage satisfaction with achievements;
• Provide challenges and standards;
• Increase self-confidence and decrease negative attitude.

Goal-setting model

Use the guidelines below to set SMART goals that will help you in traveling the road to success.

Specific – A goal of graduating from college, for example, is too general. Specify how this will be accomplished (e.g., study more or more effectively in order to earn better grades).
Measurable – Establish criteria for how to achieve a goal. “Measurable” does not refer to a timeline; it refers to determining intermediate steps to measure success in achieving a long-range goal.
Action-oriented – Be proactive in taking action that will result in reaching the desired goal.
Realistic – Strive for attainable goals; consider the resources and constraints relative to the situation.
Timely – Allow reasonable time to complete each goal, but not so much time that you lose focus or motivation.