On Saturday, November 17, 2012, more than 40 eager SJMC juniors and seniors and their mentors gathered at McNamara Alumni Center to kick-off the 2012-2013 SJMC Alumni Society Board's Mentorship Program.
The program, which enters its 30th year in 2013, pairs students with Twin Cities professionals. The mentors come from a variety of fields across journalism, strategic communication and mass communication.
The Mentorship Program has been organized by the SJMC Alumni Society Board since its inception in 1983. The alumni board looks at the applications the students complete and works to connect the students with professionals in the alumni network and in the board members' own personal networks.
Once the matches are made, the kick-off event is a chance for the mentor and student to meet for the first time and to talk about their goals for the year.
This year's event began with a video from SJMC alumnus and University of Minnesota Alumni Association interim president and CEO Scott Meyer. "This event is a really exciting time," Meyer said. "This opportunity sets [the students and mentors] on a whole new path."
SJMC Alumni Board President Sarah Bauer talked about the importance of having a mentor. "Mentors can help guide your career," she said. "Take advantage of this great opportunity to learn as much as you can."
Kathy Hansen, director of undergraduate studies, echoed Bauer's comments. "Remember, there are no stupid questions!" she remarked.
From here, the mentors and students will meet throughout the school year. The mentor will work with the student to help guide their career and help with post-graduation tradition. "It's great to work with the students," said mentor Aaron Smith of OLSON. "Being able to watch the students grow and learn is so rewarding."