Mentor Program

Developed over ten years ago, the Mentor Program serves as an integral part of the professional development of University of Maryland School of Public Policy (SPP) students and is an invaluable tool as they plan and prepare for their career. Mentors provide insights and introductions that make the job search and career path easier to negotiate.

At the beginning of the Fall semester, Career Services and Alumni Relations invites students to apply for the Mentor Program. Students are asked to submit a current resume and statement of interest. Most one-on-one matches are made in October, and students are required to remain active participants until graduation in May.

Typically, mentors and mentees exchange several emails over the course of the academic year, and meet an average of once a month. These exchanges and meetings may cover a variety of topics as needed. For example, a mentor may review a student's resume, offer interviewing tips or suggest professional opportunities the student might not suspect are available. The intent of the relationship is for the mentor to offer advice and support as the current student transitions from job seeker to policy expert.

Our pool of mentors includes talented alumni, directors of private and non-profit organizations, government officials and other members of the SPP communtiy. We look forward to creating meaningful matches of students with policy professionals to help in all career pursuits.

Recent student participants explain the program's benefits:

“The Mentor Program provided me with the ability to learn from a professional working in my field of interest. It was helpful having someone with whom I could ask questions regarding hiring processes, salaries in the field, and what the day-to-day job truly entails. Even after the program ended, I've reached out for advice several times for recommendations on professional associations I should join and conferences to attend. I truly value the relationship that resulted from participating in the mentor program.”

- Tom DiGenno ('13), Foundation Assistant, Richard and Nancy Marriott Foundation

“The Mentor Program connected me with a professional in the field in which I am interested. As my mentor was a recent graduate herself, she could provide me with realistic advice for the job search. Meeting with my mentor consistently helped keep me focused during the job search. Mentors are a great resource for networking.  My mentor even offered to arrange informational interviews with her contacts.”

- Zachary Landis, ('13), Correspondence Coordinator, Optimal Solutions and Technologies

If you are a current student interested in learning more about the Mentor Program, please contact C. Bryan Kempton, director, Career Services and Alumni Relations.