Upon first chatting with my mentor Shontel Solomon, we immediately clicked. We both have a passion for supporting the emotional health of black families, and we even had similar campus involvement. We have discussed master's programs, different counseling professions and licenses, and how to remain involved as an alumnus. I look forward to having more conversations with her, as we plan to continue checking in with one another in the future!
Someone In Your Corner
From the beginning, my relationship with my mentor was strong! I was matched with a mentor who graduated from the same high school as me, had the same major as me in undergrad, and participated in one of the same organizations I was in. There was no awkward start to the mentorship; we both felt comfortable. This led to honest and candid conversations about careers, the world outside of college, and the professional world. My mentor helped me make the daunting decision to change my major as I was able to see the type of work he did with a similar major and find that the career path was not right for me. After changing my major, he helped me with the transition as far as classes, looking for opportunities, and more. It has definitely been amazing having someone in my corner to help me through the uncertainties and keep me motivated! I truly enjoyed the experience and the impact it has made on my first year in college. I value the life long connection I have made with my mentor.
I have talked over the phone with my mentor on numerous occassions, and he offered to connect me with colleagues from his company in the MIS industry. Additionally, my mentor helped me establish my goals for the future. A major assistance that he offered was to set me up with an interview for an internship and job shadowing opportunity.
UGA Mentor Program - What an Experience!
My experience with the mentorship program at UGA has been beyond wonderful! Anna - my mentee - and I have had the best time possible. Anna is so willing to reach out and go for the things we've discussed and just never stops learning and making connections! It has been more than I could ever imagine. I knew we would have a connection and accomplish goals, but I had no idea just how much fun we would have and how great things would be! Anna already has a position for this summer! Woo....Hoo. Who knew it would be so rewarding and just plain fun! I have made a connection for life, and I just can't wait to see what happens in Anna's future. It will be totally amazing! Thank you UGA for making all of this possible! Go Dawgs!
I had the pleasure of working with Afokeoghene "GG" Egberi. "GG" is an amazing young woman and academic scholar. I met "GG" at a Dozen Dawgs Dinner in 2018. I was excited to know that she was going to be my mentee. Miss Egberi is an amazing student body member and will join the UGA Ronald E. McNair Scholars this summer. I am extremely proud of her. She is a "hidden figure" no more.
A Learning Experience
As with any request from my alma mater to accept a volunteer assignment, I said 'yes' to becoming a part of the UGA Mentor Program. It has been a rewarding time for me and I trust for my mentee, Ashley Soriano, a senior in the Grady College. I have shared some examples from my career - a few successes and a lot of mistakes - that I hope will be helpful to her. In return, she has taught me just how well-prepared, bright and focused are our students. Ashley and I are both first-generation college attendees in our family and appreciate the opportunity our university has given us. I think I can speak for Ashley when I say the UGA Mentor Program has been a great learning experience for us both.
A Great Hope
During this process, I’ve been challenged on many different levels. I’ve changed jobs to go from one that had lots of travel to one that was suppose to have limited travel. Things don’t always workout the way we think the will. On the first week of the job my entire team was reassigned to a special project that put me on the road more than I was in my previous job. Because of this I wasn’t able to speak with my mentee as frequently as I would have liked. During one of our talks I apologized for having to occasionally change times and limit the time we spoke. I felt bad because I want her to have a good experience and want to share all the positives that this mentor process can offer. After expressing this the greatest thing happened for me. She said this is what she needs to hear and has enjoyed hearing about the challenges. She knows things won't always be perfect, but it’s better to know that than a false perception of how things go. This gave me a great hope that I was helping this student. I look forward to continuing chat with her as she continues her coursework and UGA and begins to look for internships and her first job.
Meaningful, fun experience!
I had the honor of connecting in a mentoring relationship with Taylor Maggiore. She is a remarkable young woman! We communicated several times via email and text and had one lengthy phone call, although the best connection occurred when we met for lunch in Athens. Taylor and I talked a good bit about her work on campus, her career goals, and her summer internship options. I'm not sure I was a huge help to her, but I'm hopeful that the experience and insight I shared with her from my years in TV news and video content production were encouraging. She's going to do and be something quite significant!
Make Time for Mentoring
In my own career, I have enjoyed fulfillment for a variety of reasons, including having access to professionals – both inside and outside of the UGA network – willing to offer insights and words of wisdom. While this has been an informal process for me, I have found great value in learning from those steps ahead in their careers in our nation’s capital. I appreciate that UGA has invested in a formal mentoring process to support the growth and development of current students. It was a pleasure serving in the role of mentor in the inaugural class of the UGA Mentor Program. Not only did it provide an avenue to encourage my mentee, Christian Carlow, the program provided a glimpse of the quality of students that UGA continues to attract – those with great energy and passion in making a positive difference in the world, and those already learning to balance a number of priorities in their personal and academic lives. When future opportunities are presented to be a part of the UGA Mentor Program, I sincerely hope that students and alumni will carve out time to make these engagements possible. The UGA Mentor Program is a great experience for both mentors and mentees to listen and learn, and I hope it will be a success in the years ahead.
Ellie has been a wonderful mentee. We have stayed connected through the platform, meeting regularly, events and text messaging. Last week she invited me to her sorority house for lunch. What a fun experience that I had not done before. I was able to connect her to leadership on campus. The great news is Ellie is going to be at UGA another two years for graduate school! We will continue to keep in touch. Thank you for the opportunity.