UTSA's Career Mentor Network
Students need as much information as possible to make good career decisions. UTSA's Career Mentor Network provides an opportunity for students to get career advice (usually online) from people who have experience in areas that interest them. Our goal is to provide practical information about career options, employment conditions and job responsibilities.
Network members – alumni, parents, employers, staff and other friends of the university – help students explore career options and give insight into some of the realities of the workplace. Mentors are not expected to offer internships or jobs – just information and advice.
Whether you're an experienced professional with a wealth of information, or a relatively recent graduate with great tips on applying to graduate school or making a transition into the workplace, you'll find that assisting young Roadrunners is a rewarding experience.
The purpose of the UTSA Career Mentor Program sponsored by the Career Center Office is to provide an additional learning avenue to the student outside of the traditional classroom experience. Our goal is to give practical information about career options, employment conditions and job responsibilities.
Relationships are intended:
- To be professional in nature
- To further assist students make the transition from the academic environment to the world of work
- To offer an opportunity for professional development, networking and an exchange of ideas between experienced professionals and the next generation of leaders.
- Re-connect with UTSA community
- Impart your knowledge and expertise
- Gain a fresh perspective on your industry from the student
- Increased professional confidence
- Improved communication, training and coaching skills
- Contributing to the development of a future fellow professional
- Learn about career fields of interest
- Relate what they're learning in the classroom to the world of work
- Develop contacts in the work world
- Exchange ideas
- Learning to network effectively
Understanding what is expected of the Career Mentor/student will lay the foundation for a successful relationship.
- Provide guidance based on past business experiences
- Share industry knowledge
- Assist the student in career selection and with job search techniques
- Provide opportunities for job shadowing when possible
- Communicate on a regular basis
- Initiate the relationship by contacting your Career Mentor
- Convey your expectations of the relationship
- Be flexible to accommodate your Career Mentor's schedule
- Communicate on a regular basis
It's easy to sign up as a mentor.
- Login to RowdyJobs.
- New Users will need to click on 'Click here to Register' in order to create a new account.
- You can decide how you want to interact with current Roadrunners through the selection of various items.
- Complete a brief career profile, providing complete information to help students decide whether to contact you. You can limit the number of times per month that students may contact you.
- After you click on the Save button to complete the registration, the record will have a Pending status until an Administrator activates the record.
- Be sure to write down your login information and password for future use.
- Make any changes in your mentor status – such as availability or job status - by simply logging in to your account.
- Now, sit back and wait for a student to contact you.
Students will inquire about career paths, the need for graduate degrees, industry trends, company culture, etc. Typical questions might include:
- What do you find most rewarding/most difficult about your work?
- How does your job relate to your major at UTSA?
- What might you have done at UTSA to prepare better for a career in your field?
- What are the typical daily responsibilities in your job?
New Mentor Frequently Asked Questions
To register as a mentor, the applicant must access the mentor login page at https://www.myinterfase.com/utsa/mentor.
New mentors must click the [Click here to Register!] link to create a new account. Completion and submission of the Personal, Employment and Education Information sections serves as application to the program.
After a mentor clicks on the Save button (completes the registration), the record will have a Pending status until an Administrator activates the record.
Once a record is activated, the career mentor applicant will be notified electronically. Students will now be able to access the mentor record.
A Career Mentor is an alumnus, employer, parent, staff member or friend of the University who volunteers to network with current UTSA students or other alumni for the purposes of career exploration and professional development. In addition to responding to e-mails you may also want to provide resume critiques, informational interviews, job shadowing opportunities or assistance with interviewing preparation. Mentors can provide the link between a student’s academic major and the world of work.
Each Career Mentor will spend different amounts of time on the program. It’s entirely up to you and what your schedule allows. It could mean answering one e-mail a week to volunteering to come to campus and give a presentation about your career field to meeting once a month with your mentee. You decide your level of participation – and this may vary from semester to semester based upon your work and personal commitments. When you initially set up your profile you can determine the number of new students able to contact you per month, so you can set that number to reflect the amount of time you are able to give.
When you create your profile online, you determine how many times new students can contact you per month. Once this limit is met, your profile will no longer be accessible until the following month rolls around. Any students who have previously contacted you also have the option of continuing a relationship with you.
Other schools who use a Career Mentor program have noted that, generally speaking, only 30-40% of searches for mentors result in actual contacts being made. Keep this in mind when setting your number of contacts per month since often students are “just looking” and may initially contact you but not be interested in an ongoing relationship. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t contacted immediately – this is a new program and it may take some time for students to begin using it.
Participants are advised to be respectful of your time. As a Career Mentor, expect a couple of hours throughout the semester as a rule. Of course, if you are in a hot field or job market, you may be contacted more often but you always have the option of limiting the number of people who may view your profile by changing your mentor profile.
I don’t work in HR, and I’m not a recruiter. Will students think I’ll be able to get them a job at my organization?
Participants are advised not to use the Career Mentor Program to directly solicit employment from Mentors. It is also made clear that while resume critiquing, internships, job shadowing, and informational interviewing are possible outcomes of a student/mentor relationship, they cannot be guaranteed and should not be expected. If you encounter problems in this area, please feel free to contact the Coordinator of our Mentoring Program, Anthony Cosby (Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Unfortunately, there is no way for the career mentor to know if their profile has been viewed or not. You have to wait until the student/mentee contacts you.
Yes. You can choose the type(s) of guidance you’re willing to provide: employer information, career advising, regional information, or resume review. You can also choose the type(s) of volunteering you would like to do: job shadowing, informational interviews, mentoring, classroom speaking, and serving as an internship site.
The Career Mentor Program is a new addition to the other Career Center’ offered at UTSA, so participation in the program may take some time as word begins to circulate. Similarly, the time it takes for a student to contact you once he or she has saved your information may take longer than expected due to the numerous activities that students are involved in, particularly as each semester begins. Oftentimes, the information you provide in your profile may be sufficient for the student.