The Bellarmine University Alumni-Student Mentor Program prepares Knights for future successes, fruitful careers, and meaningful lives of leadership and service. As one of the largest collegiate mentoring programs in the nation, this opportunity positively impacts hundreds of Bellarmine students each year. The program – a partnership between Bellarmine’s Alumni Association, Career Development Center,
and Alumni Board of Directors – recently wrapped up it’s 2021-22 cycle, activating nearly 200 alumni mentor volunteers from 18 states.
"Mentorship is the foundation of career development because it enhances students' knowledge of specific professions and expands their network to provide access to experiential opportunities," said Matt Real, Director of Career Development. “From
a program standpoint, it also allows alumni to engage with their alma mater and give back to their community.”
"...it [mentorship] enhances students' knowledge of specific professions and expands their network to provide access to experiential opportunities."
Jordan Kelch ’08/’20, Director of Alumni Engagement & Strategic Communications, agreed, adding, “Giving back to our community is not only a Bellarmine tradition; it’s representative of who we are as Knights. This program
gives students a dedicated advocate as they enter their career field, and allows alums to come full circle, serving as an advisor and guide to a student whose perspective and interests they understand all too well.
Connections made during the program make a lasting impact on the campus community and help Bellarmine deliver on its promise of providing students with a highly personalized and transformative pathway to career success. Jane Rudnick ’14 MSDM, a
Marketing & Communications Specialist for Spalding University, couldn’t agree more. “Bellarmine really helps you excel in your career with resources such as the Alumni-Student Mentor Program. I have met so many incredible people who
have helped me grow personally and professionally. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them!”
Once designed as totally in-person, the Alumni-Student Mentor Program pivoted in the face of Covid, relying on digital technology to properly connect students and mentors during lockdown. However, what was initially considered a necessary alternative
quickly identified itself as a major opportunity. By including virtual options, alumni from across the country were able to get involved.
"I have met so many incredible people who have helped me grow personally and professionally. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them!"
This geographic expansion also opened doors for remote students like Amy Hartsough ’08. A graduate student living in Georgia, Amy believes the Alumni-Student Mentor Program empowers students while helping to answer big questions.
“I am committed to supplementing my coursework with opportunities for professional growth and networking,” she said. “I strongly recommend the Mentoring Program to any student who is looking for support and encouragement from someone
‘in the field’. And don’t worry if you don’t yet know which ‘field’ you want to be in! My mentor has helped me expand my mindset with possibilities that I hadn’t considered before, and her support and encouragement
help me feel empowered to take on my future job search with confidence and professionalism.”
While the program outlines several recommended exercises and discussion topics, it also encourages students to shadow their mentor at their place of employment. Allison Carpenter, a junior studying Medical Lab Science, found this hands-on experience both
helpful and rewarding.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity that my mentor gave me to shadow her and see how everyone in the lab works. Before going I had a little idea of what it would be like, but after the tour I gained more confidence in my choice of major and gained
a new level of excitement for the possible career I can have in the future.”
Whether it’s a resume review, mock interview, job shadow, or a simple conversation detailing passion and career interest, the discussion and interaction brought about through the Alumni-Student Mentor Program enriches the student experience and
sets up Knights for career success. “It has been so rewarding to hear from our students about the impact that visible alumni success has had on them, specifically success in their career field of interest," said Jackie McNatt '03, Associate
Director of Career Development.
It’s a win-win for all parties.
The benefit is certainly found on the alumni side, as well. “This program allows many talented alums the chance to share their career and life lessons while passing on useful institutional knowledge to a new generation. It’s a win-win for
all parties,” said Alumni Association Executive Director Stephanie Pieper Reilly ’06/’10. “We are incredibly proud of this program, and it’s a true joy watching our students and alumni shine.”
The Alumni-Student Mentor Program is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students from all majors. It typically takes place during the Spring semester. Any alum or student interested in taking part can visit alumni.bellarmine.edu for additional information.
ALUMNI-STUDENT MENTOR PROGRAM BY THE NUMBERS
students impacted by alumni mentors this year
alumni from 18 states served as mentors
of alumni say they plan to say in contact with their student in the coming months.
of alumni said that because of the time they spent with their student, he/she learned new skills and useful knowledge
of alumni said they feel more connected to Bellarmine because of the program
of students said they would recommend the Alumni-Student Mentoring Program to other BU students