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Getting a Mentor

Why should you participate in the mentorship program?

Your education is just one part of your preparation for a career in journalism or public relations. We also encourage you to gain experience through internships and part-time jobs. However, sometimes it can be beneficial to tap the wisdom of someone experienced in the field who can help guide you to where you want to go. This mentor can offer advice and become part of a network of contacts that could open doors to your future. With this in mind, the mentorship program seeks to establish relationships between you and BGSU alumni in the field.

How will the relationship work?

After you are paired with a mentor, it is up to the two of you to decide how to best proceed with the relationship. This could depend on not only location and availability of both parties but also on your interests and your mentor's experience. Suggested activities are listed below; however, these are only suggestions for an effective mentorship. You have the flexibility to consult with your mentor and decide on any other types of beneficial activities.

Suggested Activities

  • Talk to your mentor about his or her educational and career experiences.
  • Discuss your career interests and journalism experience with your mentor.
  • Establish regular phone or e-mail conversations with your mentor to talk about your progress and get suggestions for improvement.
  • Seek your mentor's help in establishing career goals.
  • If possible, shadow your mentor on the job.
  • Seek feedback on work produced in your classes or in student media. (Please do not seek input on class work until after it has been graded.)
  • Attend professional meetings and networking functions with your mentor.
  • Discuss internships and job opportunities with your mentor.
  • Ask for your mentor's input in creating an effective resume and portfolio.
  • Get feedback from your mentor on your resume and portfolio.
  • Conduct mock interviews prior to an internship or job interview.
  • Ask your mentor for industry contacts and job leads.

Your role as a student participant

You will be given information about how to contact your mentor and should make the initial contact. After this conversation, it is up to the two of you to decide how you want to proceed. It is expected that students and mentors make contact at least twice each semester. You will be asked to fill out a brief evaluation of the experience at the end of each term to help us assess the mentorship program.

Length of Mentorship

The program is designed to last for the remainder of your college career (and perhaps beyond). The better the relationship you develop with your mentor, the more you will get out of the experience. In order to prevent the mentor-student relationship from starting strong and fizzling out, we suggest setting up a regular schedule of contacts. If you fail to maintain some type of regular contact with your mentor, you may be dropped from the program. In the event that any problems develop in a student-mentor relationship, you may be reassigned. However, keep in mind that we usually have far more students than available mentors.

How do you sign up?

You will be given a form to indicate your interest in the program sometime near the conclusion of your JOUR 2000 Introduction to Journalistic Writing class. Complete this form and submit it to your journalism instructor.

Other questions?

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Jim Foust, chair of the Department of Journalism and Public Relations, at jfoust@bgsu.edu or (419) 372-2077.