By Mattias Gariepy
With Graduation coming soon, students will be leaving William Peace behind to start focusing on their future. However what if I told you there is a way to still help WPU after they graduate? There is a program being run where graduates (alumni) focus on helping current students, in their academic year.
Those that have graduated, past or present, can sign up for the Alumni Pacer Partner’s program and become an alumni mentor through “Peace Alumni Connect”. When registering they will be asked a set of questions, which will be used to match an alum with experiences similar to the student in need of help.
Despite this, the program is not only for alumni, faculty and staff can sign up as well to help students in their academic career. Mentors will be able to provide guidance and advice for careers and personal development to their assigned mentees.
Mentees can ask for help with anything, whether it be resume reviews, job interview skills, public speaking skills, what to do after college, questions about certain jobs, and everything in between. Not only are the mentees getting help with their academics but are also establishing a network and making connections. Mentors can also go the extra mile and send care packages to their mentees.
Ellie Baker, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving who oversees the program, enjoy helping and recruiting students whenever she gets the chance in their academic career. Her role is to coordinate the University’s effort to engage and strengthen relationships with alumni and to create a culture of annual sustainable financial support to ensure the future of William Peace University.
“Having a network of people who can help and support you is really important in your career and life after college, and this program helps create those connections,” said Baker.
Similar to LinkedIn connections, people should always have at least 10 or more connections to help expand themselves in the world.
Sarah Barge, Alumni Association President and a mentor in the program, was assigned to one specific student during her time with the program. She enjoys being able to establish a relationship with that student and being able to view each other’s perspectives on the world. The two have developed a healthy and beneficial relationship, discussing things that are personal, academic-related, and about life in general.
“It’s just joyous to have a relationship one-on-one with a student about their life in Peace,” said Barge.
This relationship also greatly reduces the amount of anxiety and day-to-day stress that the mentee faces over the course of a long semester. At the same time, the relationship provides the mentor with the ability to remain connected with WPU in a meaningful way.
Mentors will connect with their mentees a minimum of 4 times over the semester or once a month; the meeting can be held virtually or in-person and either on or off-campus. Halfway into the semester, each side will be required to fill out a check-in survey to see how their experience is going with each other. Finally, at the end of the semester, there will be an event or celebration held for all mentees and mentors. There were a total of 25 pairings for this year alone.
“We are someone who can be a little more objective than your parents, professor, or close friends. We are someone who can be a unique kind of companion to you through your time at Peace,” said Barge.
Students can sign up at https://alumniconnect.peace.edu/ or email Ellie Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions they have. So, sign up either today or in the future to learn more!