UGA Mentor Program x Destination Dawgs - Coached to Coach

I wanted to know about what career choices I wanted to do in the future and knew that the UGA Mentorship Program and Destination Dawgs would help me with that. I also wanted to talk with someone with the same interests as me. After class, I got to call my mentor and ask him “what was coaching like for him?” along with the things he knew about coaching. I also got to know where he was from and learned about when he went to Georgia. I learned he’s from New Jersey and he played basketball in high school. He coached track one year just to help out and coached his brother in AAU tournaments. I also learned that he is a teacher at the high school that he coaches at. He told me to get into a recreational league and coach them for a while, then move up to high school or middle school basketball. He said to be patient with the players and get to know them. He also said to make sure to care for your players. He taught me about the importance of dealing with people in the industry. For example, if a player’s parents complain about their child’s playing time, you should be calm and honest with them. I realized coaching is not all about the on the court stuff. It is also about being in the schools and dealing with the parents and players. Also, you may need to deal with players who are doing poorly in the classroom. I learned that Sports Management is out there for people like me and that most colleges offer this program. I did not know that this was a program at UGA before I talked to my mentor. Coming here, I did not know that there were so many people who wanted to coach. I think it would be good for people to explore their career interest and meet other people who went to UGA through this program.

-Jesse Pearson, UGA Mentee, Destination Dawgs Student

As a former out-of-state student and current out-of-state alumni, I was thrilled when I first heard about the mentoring program as it allowed me a way to stay connected to the UGA community, which is hard living in New Jersey. When my match with Jesse came about, I was thrilled to be able to give some advice and hopefully positively impact someone and couldn't wait to connect. Thankfully, the call with Jesse went great. He asked some thoughtful questions about coaching and the process behind getting to the place I am today, and it really got me reflecting on my journey. One of the things that it really emphasized for me was the importance of relationships in the coaching field and it got me thinking about how I can be proactive in building them instead of just waiting for things to come along. Whether it is making sure to connect with former players or coaching friends more often or picking the brains of other coaches I know for new connections that can be made, I should do my part to help the younger generation find ways to get their foot in the door. From there the conversation with Jesse became a great time where we talked back and forth and learned about each other while sharing our love of basketball and how it developed for each of us. The entire process was a wonderful time and I already cannot wait to continue on as a UGA mentor and talk to more and more students and help in any way that I can.

-Matt Cianfrone, UGA Mentor

Jesse Pearson in Sanford Stadium

UGA Mentor Program x Destination Dawgs - Encouraging an Entrepreneurial Spirit

I was quickly inspired to participate as a mentee in the UGA Mentor program because I was interested in learning about different perspectives of successful businesspeople in the same interest of mine. One my favorite highlights when talking to my mentor is that she was showing me an opportunity help me set up an Etsy site. This can help me get started in selling my own items and make money. As me and my mentor were talking one day, she gave me great advice that can help me be successful overall in the business that I want to be in. She advised me to put myself out in the art community, and to share my work. My mentor has enhanced my outlook on the industry that I want to be in by telling me the benefits of being my own boss and telling me about different machines that I can use to me my items. This mentorship helped me better navigate my academic and professional journey at UGA by learning different skills, having fun in the work that I want to do, and learning professional skills such as marketing. I believe that everyone should take part in participating in the UGA mentor program because you get to learn new professional skills, learning advantages and disadvantages early on in your career to not make the same mistakes, and finally it's a fun way to connect people in your area of interest

-Brendan Teverino, UGA Mentee, Destination Dawgs Student

I had such a great experience at UGA and I miss it dearly, so I wanted to find a way to stay connected with the community at the university from afar. I also remember what a pivotal time it was in my life and it would have been so valuable to have a mentor to speak with during that time. We've had some great conversations over this semester, but I particularly loved getting to see some of my mentee's work and how talented he is. I know he will go on to do big things! It's given me the opportunity to look at it from a more global perspective than I do on a daily basis as well as to evaluate my own place within it. We did a bit of research on the industry related to income and outlook and that was helpful for me to see, too! Even though I feel like I was at UGA yesterday, talking through the journey and speaking with someone currently in their college experience shines a light on how much I've learned and grown since then. It's super rewarding to then be able to share that knowledge and experience with someone starting their journey. The program has kept me in the loop a bit more and helped me feel connected to my alma mater in a way I didn't before.

-Sarah Reed, UGA Mentor

Brendan Teverino in Sanford Stadium

Mentoring + Hollywood

My mentor’s name is Matt Ashworth, and we connected through the UGA Mentor Program the first semester of my freshman year (Fall 2019). He lived in California so we only had phone calls regularly during the official period of the program. After the official program length was over, we still kept up with each other and he helped me along the journey of securing my internship with JPMorgan Chase and co. during my sophomore year. Once I got the news that my offer letter was from the Los Angeles commercial banking team, I immediately messaged him to let him know that I was coming to California and we made plans to finally meet in person! Unfortunately, I was only in California for the last 2 weeks of my internship because of Covid-19 office restrictions. When I was free during the first weekend, he came to pick me up and show me all of the cool spots around the Beverly Hills (where I was staying), Hollywood, West Hollywood, downtown LA, Venice, Santa Monica, and Long Beach (where he was staying). I was very thankful that he was able to show me around because I wanted to know the good and the bad parts about living in the area since I am considering living there once I graduate in a couple of years. He showed me the fun areas, the Hollywood sign, the walk of fame, and lots of other places most tourists would want to see when coming to California. We ended the evening off in Long Beach where I was able to meet his partner and talk about everything from the possibility of living in California to things going on in our personal lives.

Matt has not only been super helpful in my professional growth but also he has helped me with my personal development in life and I cannot thank the UGA Mentor Program enough for connecting me with a great mentor and friend!

mentee and mentor picture

Inspiration to Break Barriers for Minority Women

Hello! Ansley Booker is my UGA mentor! We first met on a "Dinner with a Dozen Dawgs" event hosted by the Student Alumni Association. From that very moment, I saw so much of myself in Ansley. Only a few weeks later, I chose Ansley to become my mentor. Come to find out, she sits on the Black Alumni Leadership Council- the same council that gave me my very first academic scholarship here at UGA. A coincidence, right? This same semester, Ansley gave a TedTalk at TedxUGA on minority women undertaking careers in the STEM field. Considering I am an African American women looking to undergo the MD, PhD track, Ansley inspired me to use every barrier set against me as an incentive to push harder. Ansley is the epitome and voice for many minority women who feel submissive in male-dominated fields. Ansley and I did a project with the Alumni Association to depict the benefits of student-alumni relations here on campus at UGA. I attached the link to the article below. On November 24th, 2019, not only has Ansley been known to me as an Auntie-like figure, mentor, a personal advocate for my college journey- Ansley became my Soror by means of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated: an organization focused on the constructive development of its members and the black community. As you can see, my academic and personal endeavors have greatly benefitted from the mentorship of Ansley Booker.

I recommend the UGA Mentor Program to those who are willing to engage in a relationship that builds their professional, academic, and personal afferences.


Inspiration to Break Barriers for Minority Women

Mentor = Advocate and Linker for Graduate Students

When I signed up to participate in the UGA Mentor Program, I had no idea that less than a month later I would be sitting face-to-face with a research team lead from Bayer, or that the table between us would be at a tiny Mexican restaurant halfway between Athens and Atlanta.

The University of Georgia is a fantastic place to be a graduate student; as a second-year PhD student in the microbiology program, I’ve had the opportunity to present at a national symposium, do exciting, collaborative research, and participate in thought-provoking conversations with other researchers. But while graduate school sometimes seems like it will last forever (especially when I’m coming into lab for a 2 a.m. timepoint), I’m just entering the stage where the answer to the question “Where do you see yourself in five years?” isn’t “UGA.”

Graduate advisors can be fantastic mentors – I’m lucky that my advisor is not only an intelligent and renowned researcher, but also a thoughtful and dedicated mentor who invests in the success of her students. When it comes to looking at careers post-graduation, however, many advisors can’t speak to the kinds of industry careers that exist for STEM graduates who don’t have dreams of tenured-professorship.

When I got an email advertising the UGA Mentor Program, I thought it could be the perfect chance to talk to an alumnus who made it through the grad school gauntlet at UGA and worked their way up in industry. This – and so much more – was exactly what I got from Dr. Jennifer Yates, a Wheat Breeding Lead at Bayer Crop Science.

The Mentor Program lets you select from hundreds of potential mentors based on their career, degree from UGA, and school affiliation. In my case, I filtered my results to someone who had earned a PhD in Life Sciences and was doing research at a large company. You can also filter by location, though I didn’t limit my results to Athens or Atlanta because I was happy to “meet” virtually. All that led me to pick Jennifer, although by a stroke of luck we did end up getting to meet (at the aforementioned taco shop) when she flew into Atlanta for a conference the week after we were matched).

In the time since, we’ve met virtually for 30 minutes two or three times a month (a choice we made – and yet another area where the Mentor Program is refreshingly hands-off), and I’ve gotten great insight. I’ve asked her questions about everything from how she entered the job market and hunted for internships to what her days look like now as she balances her duties as a research team lead. More than just answering questions interview-style, though, Jennifer’s supported me in and out of the lab. When I spent a harrowing week buried in reading and preparing for my oral exams for candidacy last month, she spent most of our skype call listening to my fears and offering encouragement and perspective. The fact she had been through what I had at UGA and could relate to my specific experiences made her advice and insight even more valuable to me.

The biggest surprise to me was how willing she was to act as an advocate and “linker” – as a crop scientist, she couldn’t always talk about the work someone like me (studying microbiology) would be doing in industry. Instead, she connected me with another research team leader, working in California. I was able to chat not only with him but with his team of post-docs, who talked about their experiences as (very) recent graduates. By the end of the 10-or-so weeks, I felt like I had such a breadth and depth of knowledge that I couldn’t have gotten any other way (and a whole lot of new LinkedIn connections!).

For all these reasons and more, I couldn’t recommend the UGA Mentor Program more highly to graduate students looking at getting a deeper understanding of careers in their field. I know I’m grateful to have gotten to be a part of the process.

The Mentoring Relationship from Both Sides

Though the few ages difference between my mentee and me worried me at first, I have since come to understand this as a benefit. Though he is my mentee, he is also my friend; I see myself in him and when I give him advice or answer his questions, I feel as though I am talking to my younger self. In helping him navigate this time in his life, I also feel compelled to reflect on my own journey and those who helped me and may also be able to provide mentorship to him. My mentee challenges me to see the world from new perspectives, reminds me of where I have come from, and challenges me to reach new heights. Mentorship is a pursuit of self-development and, as such, it is a recursive and reiterative lifelong process. What good is knowledge and experience without someone to share that wisdom with? And the sooner we do so, the better the world. Even as I provide mentorship to others, I look to my own mentors for guidance in my life. Mentorship is a crucial relationship in life—whether you are old or young, you have value as a mentor because you can advise and counsel others and provide them an opportunity to create themselves. Each day I strive to be like the visionaries that came before me and light the way for the generation that will follow.

  • Hunter Smith, UGA Mentor

Although our mentorship is relatively new, it is been an incredible experience. Hunter has reviewed my resume, advised me on internships, and shared about his personal journey behind attending law school. There was no awkward transition period once we matched, and we quickly began sharing our journeys and stories. A mentor is not there to have an answer to every question, but rather is a guidebook to share their journey and advice. There is a comfort in knowing that whenever I am facing a decision in my college career, I have someone in my corner one call away. I cannot recommend the UGA Mentor Program strongly enough; it is an incredible way to connect with professionals who can share a vast amount of knowledge and who want to see you succeed. It has shown me what a mentor is supposed to do and has prepared me to (hopefully) be a mentor after graduation so I can give back to a program that has given me so much.

  • Bryson Henriott, UGA Mentee

Full story linked here: https://alumni.uga.edu/2021/03/08/the-mentoring-relationship-from-both-sides/

The Mentoring Relationship from Both Sides

I'm 2 for 2 with UGA Mentor Program!

My name is Elizabeth Carter, and I am a Double Dawg studying International Affairs and Policy. My interests include resource deficiencies, human-centered design, and partnerships for development. I have had the privilege of mentorship by Dr. Hiram Larew (BS Horticulture '75) and Jessica Faber (AB Journalism '02) in the past year. Both Dawgs have experience at the US Agency for International Development- within offices I would love to work upon graduation.

With his extensive experience and vast network, Dr. Larew introduced me to colleagues across DC working in his sector, which allowed me to conduct many informational interviews and identify additional potential career opportunities. He also introduced me to and coached me through the "Individual Development Plan", which has been critical in crafting my professional trajectory and improvements in my personal life.

Jessica and I have engaged in technical conversations about the partnership development process, the value of law school, and life as a Foreign Service Officer. Thanks to her well-traveled career, she also gave me the most amazing restaurant recommendation when I was in Bangkok in February.

UGA has provided me with opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. The UGA Mentor Program, the thoughtfulness and accessibility of its design, and the individuals within its platform have been pivotal in my prospects once I leave Athens. I am grateful and could not recommend it more highly.

Support for Your Goals and Ambitions!

When I heard about the UGA Mentor Program, I knew without a doubt what a wonderful opportunity it was and that I should apply immediately. Various organizations at UGA have shown me what it’s like to be a student mentor or mentee, but the UGA Mentor Program offered me a chance to connect with an alumnus on a personal level. I was able to choose a mentor that would share my major, interests, or experience at UGA. Also, I wanted to have a mentor who would support my goals and help me develop them.

I was scared that I would have a mentor who didn’t care, but I was quickly put at ease. My mentor, Allison, genuinely supported my ambitions and talked me through my goals. Also, I’ve seen and heard how the alumni who participate in the UGA Mentor Program want to see students succeed. The biggest surprise was the flexibility of the UGA Mentor Program. It wasn’t time-consuming. It didn’t interfere with my class schedule, work, or any other obligations. I got to establish how frequently I wanted to communicate with my mentor, and we communicated monthly via email, telephone, and in-person.

Don’t hesitate to apply, students! It really is a great program, because there’s a mentor and commitment that’s right for everybody. Having a mentor is a great chance to look at someone else’s journey from UGA to where they are now — especially if it aligns with your interests. Mentors are a valuable source of information, and you get out of the mentoring relationship what you put into it. You never know what good will come from the relationship. Everyone should take the time to look at the website, the FAQs, and contact the UGA Mentor Program team if they are unsure of anything.

Support for Your Goals and Ambitions!

Happy Birthday UGA Mentor program

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a UGA mentor. I met the most amazing, smart, and ambitious mentee. I look forward to staying in touch and supporting my mentee as she navigates college and creates a successful life for herself.

Tremendous Insight!

My UGA mentor has given me tremendous insight on my future career. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to shadow her this semester. This experience has been so rewarding, as I am still unsure of what medical field I would like to enter. I am thankful for the UGA Mentor Program and very appreciative for my mentor and all the advice she has given me!

Erin and Dr. Marti Picture

Life Changing!

The UGA Mentor Program has changed my life in ways I could not have even imagined. This program connected me with Dr. Laura Bierema, who is so brilliant and lovely. She has poured into me and helped me grow professionally and as a woman. The relationship does not end when your time in the program is over; it grows.

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.

Someone In Your Corner

Find a Mentor and So Much More

I decided to change my major from Biology to Wildlife Science two weeks before my junior year began. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I knew I couldn’t stay where I was. Entering a field this late in my schooling with no knowledge of where it could lead me was daunting, to say the least. I joined the UGA Mentor Program because I needed to find someone that would show me what opportunities were available in my field, but what I got was so much more than that. Since joining the program, I have had the privilege of connecting with two mentors. They have both helped me find a passion that makes me excited to go to class in the morning, which is something I never had before. Even beyond that, they have opened up more networking opportunities for me, helped me through difficult career decisions, and given me life advice that goes beyond my future career. They have encouraged me throughout this transition and given me the confidence I needed to find my place in this profession, and I have built relationships that I know will last years beyond the extent of this program. I would recommend the UGA Mentor Program to anyone who feels a little lost like I did. You will be surprised by the difference a UGA mentor can make in your life.

Support, Encouragement, and Advice from a Professional!

My mentor experience has been one of my favorite things I’ve gotten to do while in college. Developing a relationship with Tori has not only been very personally rewarding, but I am learning so much about Student Affairs from a professional currently working in that field! We’ve gotten to discuss my majors and minors, involvement on campus, grad school plans, and my career aspirations at large. I am so thankful for Tori for all her support, encouragement, and advice, and for the UGA mentor program because I might not have ever come into contact with her otherwise! Even though our 16-week mentorship is technically over, Tori and I love to meet in Tate to get lunch or grab a coffee :-).

Pictured: Grace Hicks, mentee (left), Tori Tanner, mentor (right)

Summer mentoring 2020

Given the Covid impact, my mentee was not able to do a traditional internship per se. We made a plan to introduce and connect with key professionals of interest my network. Audrey was awesome at reaching out with a regular contact schedule, advance preparation of what she was trying to achieve in each session with each contact and follow-up. The point was to drive a focused dialogue so Audrey could assess variances in the finance industry to better align her professional interests and learning plan (coursework) at UGA. For example, did she favor month-end reporting, budgets, forecasting type of “finance" or Trust Officer activities or did she favor financial advisor/financial planning scope of work.
All extremely valuable insights for a up and coming finance student.

The UGA Mentor Program is AWESOME and provides a great platform for us older Dawgs to help the new generation!

Thanks UGA!

Scott Morris Class of ‘87

Don't Miss Out - Connect with a Mentor TODAY!

As a first-generation college student and the daughter of a Colombian immigrant, making the transformation to college was difficult. Though I had a strong support group of family and friends, moving to a new city and embarking on a rigorous college career, with no prior insight, was a bit nerve-wracking. Through the UGA Mentor Program, I was able to connect with an incredible mentor who has worked tirelessly with me and helped me along every step of the way. While working full time in the financial sector and studying for the CFA exam, my mentor still found time to offer advice on the internship recruiting process, tips on how to best navigate LinkedIn, and even connecting me with his colleagues in the industry. All of this and more has helped shape me into a more confident professional. I can't thank my mentor and UGA enough for making this experience possible.

UGA Mentor Program = Transformational Opportunity

When I first heard about the pilot program of the UGA Mentor Program, I was in my second semester of my senior year here at the University of Georgia. As a senior, I had been very lucky to be involved with various clubs and extracurriculars across campus that showed me what it meant to be a leader and a mentor to students not only at UGA, but also in the Athens community. However, a part of me was hesitant to participate, as I wondered if I even needed a mentor that late in the game. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong about my hesitation; I was matched with just the right person at just the right time. My mentor’s name was Jane, and she worked in the Division of Development and Alumni Relations at UGA. I hope I don’t sound cliché when I say that she changed my life for the better, but to this day, I really do think she hung the moon and stars. When we began having our bi-weekly meetings in January of 2019, I realized what I had been missing the past 4 years as an undergrad: someone who was unconditionally in my corner.

As we began to get to know each other better, our bi-weekly meetings changed from sitting in coffee shops to taking walks together down Milledge Avenue when the weather was nice. I was even able to invite her to my sorority house for lunch one day, and show her a part of my life that was very meaningful to me (it also happened to be Cuban sandwich day, which I knew would wow her). Upon graduation on May 10, 2019, Jane made it a point to come to Grady College to see me with my family before I headed into the stadium. Although we were only in our formal mentoring relationship until April, I think I learned more about myself in those 4 months than I had in the 4 years I had attended UGA. Jane exemplified community service and leadership, and in turn, instilled a sense of purpose in me to figure out how I was going to give back to my community upon graduation. She is the reason I am in graduate school today at UGA, pursuing my Master of Arts in Teaching in Social Studies Education.

If you would have told me a year ago that I was going to meet a mentor that was going to change my life for the better, I would have 100% laughed at you. But, when I look back now as a first-semester graduate student, my fondest memories in Spring of 2019 are the intentional conversations I had with Jane; we talked about anything and everything, and she helped me realize what direction I wanted to go in with my life. Honestly, this opportunity was one of the most transformative experiences I’ve had at this university, and I will forever be so grateful to Jane for her kindness and for taking a chance on a second-semester senior who wasn’t sure what her purpose in life was yet. Thank you, Jane, for everything!

Jane (mentor) and Ellie (mentee)

My Advocate

My mentor has continually advocated for me in both my personal and professional life. She has referred me for internships, encouraged me in my career path, and been open with me about every aspect of the "real world"!

Ongoing Mentorship!

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!

Ongoing Mentorship!

Mentor a Student- Change Two Lives

Over the past two decades, I've had the privilege of serving the Warnell School at The University of Georgia in numerous ways ranging from involvement in Alumni and Dean Advisory Committees to faculty search committees. However, the most rewarding experience has been my time spent mentoring students. This is the most tangible and rewarding way to give to the University. I expected (or at least hoped) to help the students better understand the challenges and opportunities in their chosen profession, but I didn’t expect the level of satisfaction and optimism the students provided me. If you want to make a difference in two lives – theirs and yours – become a UGA student mentor today!

Mentorship = Confidence & Opportunity!

I joined the UGA Mentor Program because of an initial interest email that went out to everyone. The thought of being paired up with a UGA Alumnus sounded pretty intriguing, so I decided to go ahead and sign up. I had no idea what I was getting myself into so I joined the program with absolutely no expectations.

It was nerve-wracking to me to think that I, an 18-year old inexperienced freshman at the time, would have to meet and exceed the expectations of the professional I was going to be mentored by. But as soon as I matched with my mentor on the program, all I felt was excitement. I quickly learned that it wasn’t scary connecting with someone who had real life experience and expertise to share with me. Instead it was casual, fun, and the most beneficial program I have been a part of here at UGA.

Before joining the Mentor Program, I lacked confidence in myself. I had always thought of myself as a confident person, but the program allowed me to speak about the things I was passionate about with someone else who shared those same passions. I learned that it is not scary to speak with someone on a professional level, and there is no sense in being timid and worried that you’ll slip up and say something incorrectly. They are not waiting for you to fail and they truly want to help you grow.

Opportunity is why you should join the UGA Mentor Program. This program opens up a world of opportunity for you to connect with someone who is similar to you, who has been in your shoes before, who can offer advice when you most need it, and who will help you grow as a young professional. This is how you can truly jumpstart your success. Your mentor will also be somebody to stay in contact with even after your mentoring relationship has officially ended on the platform, and they will be more than willing to help you succeed and find opportunities for years to come.

Mentorship = Confidence & Opportunity!

2,480 miles had nothing on us!

Standing on the green trail of a local park, I waited for a call from my mentor, Elizabeth Pishal. I thought to myself “should I ask her what her day has been like so far? wait her day barely just started uggh.. stop overthinking it Jyoti! Breathe..” Tring tring, my phone rang and I was greeted with a warm “Hi Jyoti! How are you?” Before I knew it, we were talking about our passion for marketing, volunteering, our hometowns, and what not!

Over the next few months, we continued to get to know each other as Elizabeth helped be through my job search process. It was very reassuring to have a fellow Bulldawg telling me that I was ahead the curve and that it’ll all work out. I tried my best to structure the phone calls around different topics I wanted to discuss, such as networking tips, cover letters, interviewing, managing an offer, etc.

Through the UGA Mentor Program, I understood the value of having someone in your corner. Even though, my mentor and I are 2480 miles apart, we created a lifelong connection and I’m very grateful for that!

UGA Mentors = Support for First Generation Students

There are so many questions when a student starts college. Which dining hall is the best? Do I really need every item on this packing list I found on Pinterest? Did I pick the right major?

Another question I asked myself, as a first generation college student, was what am I going to do with this degree, and, even more importantly, my life? I sought advice wherever I could find it- my professors, supervisors at my on my on campus job, even Dove chocolate wrappers. I was so eager to find someone who I could relate to and trust to give me advice about college life, and life after. The UGA Mentor Program gave me just that.

During my second year, I was paired with Jill Walton, Senior Executive Director for Development in UGA’s Development and Alumni Relations division. I met Jill once a month in Tate, and we would sit and chat over coffee or tea from Tate Market. From the beginning, I thought Jill was one of the coolest people I have ever met. She had so many stories about her time at UGA as a student, her travels, and her projects at work. I felt like her experience was so valuable, and I felt so lucky to learn from her.

I talked with Jill often about what I loved about my fields of study, and how I could see myself working in higher education eventually, too. From that moment on, I knew I had Jill in my corner. She went above and beyond to connect me to others within the University community that she believed could help me in my time here; from people in her office, to other students she mentored, she always thought to introduce and connect me. I quickly realized that everyone knew Jill, and that I was rather lucky to know her, too.

From lunch with colleagues, to attending guest lectures in the Chapel, Jill always took the time to make sure I was there, experiencing and learning. By doing so, I not only had the chance to learn more about what Jill did, but it also showed me exactly how I wanted to build my future career. I realized, no matter what field I pursue, I wanted to be like Jill; I wanted to spend intentional time investing in others, introducing them to those who could help them along the way, and giving them the chance to be “there” - wherever there is for them.

While mine and Jill’s mentorship term has ended through the program, I know that Jill is still cheering me on. I update her often about the happenings of my now third year of my undergraduate career, and she is always excited and supportive. I often watch what Jill does too, keeping up with DAR news and getting excited when I see one of her projects mentioned on my LinkedIn feed. All in all, I gained exactly what I needed from the Mentor Program: someone who had great knowledge, and a great heart, that was willing to invest in me. I am not the only one with this type of story: with over 850 successful pairings through the Mentor Program, many UGA students have found this same connection with alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University. Sign up today at mentor.uga.edu.

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!

Picture of mentee and mentee

Grateful for My UGA Mentor!

I am a senior major in Accounting & Management Information System and minor in Computer Science. I joined the pilot program of the UGA Mentor Program in my second semester of junior year. During the relationship with my first mentor, I got more insights of what’s the work like in my field. That’s the moment I realized I need to rethink about my career plan. From the deep inside, I am passionate about education and want to become a professor one day. Therefore, I started to prepare for the application of graduate school in my senior year.

Through the UGA Mentor Program in this fall, I got connected with my second mentor Dr. Kristi Farner (2016), who graduated with Ph.D in High Education Administration, currently serve as Extension Specialist at the Office for the Associate Dean for Cooperative Extension at University of Georgia. And within this semester I feel so grateful to have Dr. Farner in my journey.

Dr. Kristi Farner is one of the kindest and the most patient person I’ve ever met in my life. We have bi-weekly meetings once after we are connected. Every time we met, we talked about what’s going on in our lives just like friends without any pressure or obstacles. At the beginning, I am nervous about thinking about graduate school so late in my senior year. Under her guidance, I have better understanding about what the graduate school is like, how I should mentally and physically prepare for that, and what is some procedures I need to go through while exploring different programs. Additionally, there is a lot going on in my life this semester. She is always in my corner to listen to my complex situation and give the most genuine advice to me. And every time I feel discouraged, she is the one who encourage me to rebuild confidence. Right now, I’ve got a research opportunity next semester and decided to delay my graduation for one more semester and better prepare myself as a researcher before graduation with a solid plan. There is no way I can achieve it without her help.

Although the time approaches the end of the semester, which is end of our formal mentoring relationship, we both committed to continuing our mentorship in the future. I really appreciate the flexibility and diversity of the UGA Mentor Program, which allows me to connect with Dr. Farner, who’s not in my study field. As the first generation of college student in my family, and as an international student at UGA, I always feel I am the minority in the community. It’s the connection with my mentors that not only help me grow professionally, but also let me feel more involved in the UGA big dawg family.

If you are also in the stage when you are not sure about where to go next, I would highly recommend you find a mentor in UGA Mentor Program. The transformative experience may be a life-changer for you. Just like me, one year ago, I would have never imagined that I would delay my graduation and apply for graduate school. And once you graduate from UGA, let’s pay it forward as mentors to the future generation of Bulldogs.

Mentoring = Relationships + Doors Opened

The UGA Mentor Program has helped me to feel confident and more relaxed when speaking with business professionals. Previously, I had no experience having conversations in a professional compacity and this program has allowed me to have two amazing mentors. The UGA Mentor Program has also allowed me an avenue to have conversations with UGA alumni that love to give their time back to the University.

Students should join the UGA Mentor Program, because you can never cultivate too many relationships. By connecting with a UGA Mentor, you are able to learn from their experiences. UGA mentors can open doors with other professionals in their network making yours larger. Also, they have helped me establish personal and professional goals.

Mentoring is a priceless experience that can help prepare you for other areas in life, not just professional. My past experiences with this program has allowed me to appreciate having alumni that are so willing to give back and I plan on paying it forward after I graduate.


I came into college as a first-generation student not knowing anyone in a professional capacity, let alone a professional in my intended career field. My first semester at UGA I joined the program and was mentored by an amazing marketing executive who taught me the different kinds of paths I can go down with a marketing degree. With his guidance I now know exactly what I want to do, and the mentors I have had since have refined my goals for my future and have made me realize the many things I am capable of doing. I highly recommend the program!

STEM Sisters

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.

STEM Sisters


MY first mentor changed the rest of my college experience entirely. She changed the way I thought about my future and the way I would stress myself out, she helped me plan and figure out how I was going to proceed in the next couple of years. I would not be in the position I am today without her and I still talk to her once a month even though she was my mentor over a year ago. This program has matched me with such amazing mentors, I would apply to this school a million times again just to be able to continue to have a mentor in my corner.

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 Learning Experience

Gain experience! Explore career fields!

I matched with Dr. Margaux Charbonnet during the spring of my senior year. At that time, I was strongly considering a career as a Physician Assistant, and Dr. Charbonnet was a great match for me! She works as the Medical Director of the Complex Care Program at CHOA and works alongside a PA. During my Spring Break, I got the opportunity to shadow Dr. Charbonnet during her rounds at the hospital -- an experience I truly valued because it was my first time shadowing in a hospital environment. I am so thankful for this experience, and although I didn't end up in the career that I had intended, I value my mentorship with Dr. Charbonnet nevertheless. Shadowing at CHOA had been my first time seeing patients and rounding in a hospital environment, and it was touching to see how genuine and caring Dr. Charbonnet is with each of her patients and their parents/guardians. Her passion for medicine and caring for others really translates through the work that she does, and she was equally as helpful with any questions and curiosities that I had.

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.

Go Dawgs!

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!

Meaningful, fun experience!

Mentorship = Support for Transfer Students

Joining the UGA Mentor Program and connecting with an alumni mentor is a great first-step for students to prepare for the chapter after college. Connecting with a mentor is an invaluable experience that has taught me a lot about professionalism and networking. My first mentor opened my eyes to the importance of networking because it is used in every industry. What I enjoy about the program is the value it places on self-selection. I found it very comforting that I could select a mentor that had similar interests with me. My first mentor and I are both transfer students at UGA, which allowed me to ask about her experience being a transfer student. Also, I connected with my first mentor, because she played on the UGA Women’s Club Soccer Team that I currently play on. We’ve bonded over our mutual love for soccer and competitiveness. It is important that my peers understand the value of mentorship and connecting with alumni. Alumni are always willing to lend a helping hand.

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.

Make Time for Mentoring

A Truly Delightful Experience

This program linked me up with an incredibly helpful and caring mentor. My mentor played a significant part of my job recruiting process, and I gained much insight from our conversations.

UGA Mentor Program Helped Me Secure My Future

I reached out to my mentor after carefully searching for a mentor who aligned with my career aspirations. I contacted her to introduce myself, discuss opportunities at the career fair, and called her with questions about my sales competition. She was able to answer every single question I had and guide me in the right direction. Her knowledge and expertise in her field helped me succeed in the sales competition which led into many companies asking to speak with me about potential job opportunities. My mentor even helped me select a great opportunity and lock down a job for when I graduate college! Without my mentor, I do not believe I would be in the position I am in today without her help. It was a great experience. Thank you, Jaime!!!

My Great Experience With The UGA Mentor Program

I have received carefully, considered guidance from my mentor that has acted as an added source to my education. It has also helped me see what is necessary when preparing for life after graduation. Valuable tips on portfolio/resume building, the importance of internships and time management have been integral to my growth as a student. I appreciate this program for the benefits I have been given and cannot speak more highly of it. Thank you UGA Mentor Program!

Insight and Experience!

Despite the fact that my mentor through the UGA Mentor Program, Kristjan Kornmayer, and I shared different career goals, I knew I wanted for him to be my mentor when I saw that he attended Johns Hopkins University for graduate school. The Center for Advanced International Studies is my top choice to continue my education after graduating from the University of Georgia, and I wanted to hear more about the program from someone who had experienced it firsthand. He offered me a lot of insight into the program and advice for the application. More than just helping me with my graduate school search, though, he also helped connect me to some of his other colleagues, including a former employee of a contracting firm I was applying to intern for. I am so thankful that Kristjan took the time to help me with my grad school and internship search!

Job shadowing!

Sydney spent the day with me at work on March 10, 2020. She shadowed me to gain better insight into her future career aspirations of being a school counselor. Sydney was able to observe a Mental Health Team meeting, an individual counseling session, two classroom guidance lessons, a small group session, and several administrative tasks that arose throughout the day.

Picture of mentee and mentor

The Perfect Fit

I am so thankful I found my mentor through this program. My mentor serves as a thought-partner through the many decisions made around education in a COVID environment. She provides a district level perspective, which increases my understanding of the many factors influencing decisions that affect me at the school level. We serve as sounding boards for one another, sharing ideas and solutions. My mentor provides feedback and career advice which has been tremendously beneficial. We will undoubtedly continue our mentoring relationship.

My mentor experience

I heard about the Mentor Program at a time when I felt very drained and felt like I was there for everybody but no body was there for me. I signed up having no idea what it would be like but I've had nothing but amazing experiences! My first mentor really helped me feel strong again and we wound up just talking about current events and becoming friends. My second mentor helped get me excited about my majors again and introduced me to an amazing opportunity to study abroad funded by the government. I'm currently still in the process of applying but whether I get it or not I've learned so much from this experience.

My Testimonial

The UGA mentor program has helped me learn so much- more about myself, more about my passions, more about my aspirations. My first mentor was amazing. She talked to me like her equal, and like I was her friend. And we were friends; that's the best part. It wasn't incredibly formal and too rigid. It was a genuine relationship where we learned and grew from each other. Later, I joined the UMP Ambassador team because I wanted to share how easy and accessible this amazing resource is.

Why the UMP means a lot to me

I switched my major the summer before my senior year to be on a business track after being on a pre-health track for all my college career. Prior to jumping into the deep end and making a switch so late in my college journey, I did not know anyone on a similar career path with my new major, so I really needed a mentor at the time. I was really fortunate to find many mentors willing to help me out.
 I was able to explore different career paths and build a diverse kitchen cabinet of mentors who I can rely on over the past year.

Mentoring for a Lifetime

I am a 1987 alumnus of UGA - DVM degree - and have been on faculty since 2016 (after being at several other places). I got involved with the UGA Mentor Program because I enjoy helping people and providing the support that they need. Sommer was my first mentee and she is interested in going to veterinary school. After our semester as official mentor-mentee, we have remained in contact and talk periodically about her classes, jobs, research, etc. To me, serving as a mentor is 'paying it forward' by sharing what I have learned over the years and by listening to and working with someone who shares some similar interests. Sommer has been amazing, and I enjoy catching up with her as she progresses towards her goal of veterinary medicine. One of the things we found that we have in common is our love for music - she is a big fan of Pure Prarie League - and it happens that a long time when I was in college I used to perform professionally and actually opened a concert for them. I feel you reach a point in your life where it is important to give back - and being a mentor is a great opportunity to provide that. I plan to keep serving as a mentor and hope that Sommer and I remain friends for a long time.

WOW!!!!!!! :)

I have no idea where I would be if it hasn't been for my past mentor. My mentor taught me more about myself and my academic career than anybody else in my life. It has been wonderful having somebody in my corner that I did not know before college. Having this person to support me and be there for me has been life changing. I give all of my thanks to my past mentors. You should join the program:)

Why I Became a Mentee

Starting college, I had an idea of what I wanted to pursue for a career but I didn't know all of the steps to get there. I am Pre-Med but I don't have any immediate family that went into my field of interest and it was tough to start on my own. I think my decision to find a mentor came from the hopes that it can guide me and provide some valuable advice, but I think that I got a lot more than that. My latest mentor held me accountable, wished me luck on exams, and was there to provide that last bit of encouragement to go after opportunities I searched for. I realized the value of mentorship in my life from this experience, and I want to continue to look for mentors that can fill in the gaps in my experiences and knowledge.


I joined the Mentor Program as a first semester freshman. As an oldest sibling, I was the first to go to college, and I had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to speak with someone who had been in my shoes before and could give me some advice to navigate such a large campus. My mentor has been so helpful in my college experience.

You Get Out What You Put Into It

Beginning of my sophomore year, I was lost on what I needed to do. I was an accounting major wondering whether it would be a career path I would enjoy or one that I would regret picking. I was introduced to the program by my friend Kelly who shared her experiences with me. I joined and picked a mentor that had a similar career path to what I wanted at the time. After meeting and talking to my mentor, I was immediately relieved. My mentor was personable and had a very similar college career of what I was aiming for. We talked every month for around an hour, and he was a nice outlet to talk to. He was someone that wasn't fully involved in my life but still invested in my success. There were moments of panic where I would call him, and he would help rein me back in. Even after our mentorship ended, we still keep in touch with a call every couple of months to chat. It inspired me to continue on with the program and helped me become a Mentor Program Ambassador. You get out of this program what you put into it. I created connections, gained friends, and honestly became a better person. Hope everyone else in the program can gain a new perspective and become a more realized individual.

Mentor to Cary Guthrie

I had the privilege to mentor Cary. I greatly enjoyed our conversations. Cary's future is immense. Stay humble and hungry Cary on your way to becoming a DGD! Scott

Very enjoyable way to connect with students and give back

I've mentored several students through this program. All the students have been outstanding and have been a joy to work with. Plus, their interest in my career has helped reinforce the reasons I chose my career and heightened my enjoyment.

It is very satisfying to hear the gratitude in their messages, and to hear about their achievements in school and as they start careers. This is something that I hope to continue doing as long as UGA has this program.

Grateful for My Mentorships

When I arrived at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, I decided that the Biological Sciences degree was the best option for my future aspiration of becoming a pediatrician due to the supportive family environment and diverse course electives. Because my parents went to different colleges, it was a drastic transition from rural Euharlee to Athens, Georgia, and I am grateful for the mentorship of my advisors, professors, mentors, and colleagues when navigating campus resources.

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, I facilitated “next step conversations” with Dr. Lesley Clack, Merritt McGowan, Whitney Jackson, and Jessie Moore, and through a variety of mediums, I discussed medical school applications, graduate school options, and internship opportunities for summer 2021. The UGA Mentor Program allowed me to meet four incredibly talented and prepared women that inspired me to confidently pursue the next opportunity, and I am grateful for their unending support toward becoming a pediatrician in rural medicine.

My most recent mentorship was with Jessie Moore, and Jessie and I connected in the UGA Mentor Program, because I noticed she worked at UGA Extension, which was something I was familiar with as I grew up in Bartow County 4-H. Through our conversations of camp counselor memories and HelloFresh boxes, I realized my heart for serving underserved communities and started to explore more into the UGA Extension internship. Throughout summer 2021, I developed TikTok videos with a correlating cookbook for Bartow County SNAP participants to use to cook nutritious, family meals throughout the Cartersville Farmers Market season.

LOVE the UGA Mentor Program!

I absolutely love working with all four of my mentees since the pilot program back in 2019. Two of my mentees have graduated, which is absolutely amazing. My first mentee, Nia Freeman, is currently a teacher in the Teach for America program in New Jersey and has been doing extraordinary work with her students. Nia gave a testimonial about our mentorship and continuing mentorship after graduation. Please see the article here . Jazmine Grant, my second mentee is currently at UGA and she has been doing amazing with her studies. She wants to be a Marriage and Family Therapist like me! Sol Moreno, my third mentee, graduated in 2020 and is super awesome! She is currently working in a full-time, paid position in her research lab at UGA. She is currently discovering which graduate school programs she would like to pursue, which includes Psy D programs. My fourth mentee, Jordan Brown, is currently in her sophomore year, studying Psychology, with a minor in Spanish and Human Services. She has been crushing her classes, even during a pandemic! She is truly amazing and I've enjoyed mentoring her. It was important that she did not feel alone during these uncertain times, so I prioritize checking in often to assist her with navigating school, life, etc. I have an open door policy with all of my mentees and the mentorship does not end when they graduate from the program. They all truly inspire me and I look forward to assisting them in becoming successful mental health professionals! I have a special relationship with the UGA Mentor Program and I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this amazing program!"

Keeping Alumni Connected

Through the UGA Mentor Program, I have been fortunate enough to stay in touch with the community of my alma mater from as far away as the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Recently, I had the pleasure of mentoring an outstanding individual who is considering an academic or professional path situated in the nation's capitol or abroad, focusing in government and foreign languages.

With all of the available resources to both mentors and mentees, I was able to assist them in finding the best fit based on their degree and focus while also sharpening my own skills. I can not speak highly enough about the mutual benefit and value that this organization offers to both students and graduates alike.

My first mentor

My first UGA mentor was Kimberly Avery. I chose her, because we happen to work for the same company. She turned out to be a wonderful mentor! We are still in touch with each other, and I imagine we will be for a long time. She is very smart and gives great advice. The fact that we work for the same company is a wonderful connection for me and a big help when I am ready to begin looking for a new job. I am grateful for her serving as my mentor. Anyone else would be so lucky!! Connect with a UGA Mentor today!

A Great Experience

My mentor/mentee relationship has been one of the most beneficial experiences. I have learned about life after college in areas including graduate schools but also in the realm of future job opportunities. The wealth of knowledge that my mentor was able to give me has been more than I could have ever expected, and the time that we have spent together has helped me learn more about my area of interest.

From 4-Month Mentorship to Lifelong Friendship

Rebecca, my mentee, connected with me at the beginning of Spring semester in 2022. During our first face-to-face meeting, Rebecca informed me of her goals and plans for graduate school and her future career. She wanted to be a college instructor just like I was and to do that, she wanted to know the steps I had taken and what I would recommend she do based on my experiences. During the next few months, we worked extensively on graduate school expectations, goals, costs, applications, and more. We also worked together to talk about balancing schedules, adjusting from school life to a 9-5 job, the expectations of graduate school, and more.

At the end of the mentorship, Rebecca expressed how thankful she was to have had a mentor like me in her life. She told me the advice I'd given her had stuck with her during harder moments and that she was ready to face Graduate school and her future career thanks to our meetings. Though she as a mentee got so much out of our mentorship, I also want to note that being a mentor taught me so much, as well. I learned more about myself and what I love to do: help students achieve their personal and professional goals, even if they are not in my classroom or enrolled at my college. It was so rewarding to see Rebecca succeed after graduating from undergrad, and I know she will go on to do fantastic things.

Even though our formal mentorship has ended, we will still be keeping in touch with one another. I'm so thankful that the UGA Mentor Program allowed for us to meet and have this great experience/connection. This mentorship experience has created such a great connection that we would not have been able to have otherwise, and I hope that all current students (and alumni) who may be on the fence about this program go ahead and take part in it. It is worth it, and you both will gain so much out of this experience.

From Mentorship to Internship

I have been working with UGA's journalism and communications students since 2018, and outside of mentorship, I aim to be a sponsor for the students to further their career growth. It's been a pleasure to place 4 of my previous mentees into internships at print and digital media companies! Watching and helping them grow into skilled writers and editors is very rewarding and shows the true value of mentorships.


Has your mentoring relationship been successful? Share your story here.