As an exclusive benefit for Student Alumni Association members, the Bulldog Connections
Program carefully matches student participants with alumni of similar interests, career paths, or organizational involvement.
The goal of Bulldog Connections
is to facilitate the development of valuable personal and professional relationships between our members and our alumni across the country.
The mentoring pairs will receive discussion topics on the first of every month. If the mentor is local, pairs can meet in person. While majority of communication might occur via email, any and all forms of communication are encouraged.
Each mentor and mentee should commit their partner, plan for their partnership, and be intentional about development activities to ensure your partnership is productive and rewarding!
Commit to your partner
- Set aside times to meet or communicate; establish modes of communication (telephone, Skype, lunch/coffee, etc.)
- Attend Bulldog Connections Program events or watch webcasts if you cannot attend
- Prioritize and protect time set aside for mentoring meetings
- Establish a regular communication schedule and set realistic expectations for frequency of communication
- Take notes to regularly record on mentoring activity and reflect on your progress
You can expect
- Advice — Be receptive to your Mentor’s advice. Assuming you accept it, be proactive in putting it into action and review the results with your Mentor.
- Coaching — Be prepared to come up with your own conclusions and decisions and to look at issues from a different angle. Review the results of your decisions with your Mentor
- Feedback — Seek feedback from your mentor. Ensure you understand the feedback and decide how to use it for your development.
- Openness — Work to develop an open and trusting relationship with your mentor so that you can be honest about how the relationship is going. Tell him or her about your personal successes, failures, and frustrations.
- Networking — Put in the time and effort required to expand your network. Follow up with connections that your mentor gives you. Create a LinkedIn account and share it with your mentor.
At the end of the year, participants will have the option to change their official mentor. While a more informal relationship may continue, SAA will facilitate the Bulldog Connections program with only your official mentor.
SAA will attempt to match students to an alumni mentor, but makes no guarantees that this match will happen right away. This delay is possible due to the SAA wanting to make the best match available to its members, and contacting an alum to devote their time might take some time as well.
If a match is found, SAA will present the tools for a mentoring relationship to develop. However, the mentor pair will establish the extent of the mentoring relationship. Whether it is strictly professional or more of a personal mentorship is determined by the participants.