An online mentorship program developed by UNM’s Alumni Association aims to guide students in their career paths after college.
Alumni Association Senior Program Manager Sue MacEachen said the online mentorship program, called Simplicity, which went online in August, aims to help UNM students and graduates. The program will also be available upon request to graduates who have been out of school for longer periods of time. The program allows students to connect with alumni in their academic area in order to learn about associated job opportunities.
“This is a way for alumni to be able to give back if they don’t have a lot of time or money,” MacEachen said. “The program is not, however, intended for students to get a job, but a way for them to get advice on how to get the job they want.”
MacEachen said UNM had a different online mentorship program in the past but had to switch over to the new program last semester because it was not compatible with UNM’s new online platform. She said the Alumni Association has been managing the development of Simplicity for four years.
Anderson School of Management Senior Alumni Relations Officer Roberta Ricci said students who sign up for the mentorship program will find the process more convenient than mentorship programs in the past.
“The great thing about this mentorship program is it’s all online so you don’t have to worry about fitting it in with your school schedule or your work schedule,” Ricci said.
Ricci said students can sign up for mentorship programs online through the Alumni Career Center page on the UNM website by clicking on the “Alumni Career Mentor Program” link in the upper right corner. She said that once students have signed up, they will be able to choose from a variety of mentors. Students can then contact their selected mentors by email or by phone, Ricci said.
“You can look for a title, you can look for a field, you can look for a degree program, or for an (alum),” she said.
UNM student Nathaniel Jarvis said he wasn’t aware of Simplicity in the past, but he said he would have used it sooner if he had known.
“I’m in the process of changing majors now,” Jarvis said. “If I knew about this program sooner, I could have connected with someone in the field to get a lot of my questions answered. Then maybe I would have realized to change my major sooner.”
MacEachen said the Alumni Association is having trouble with publicity for Simplicity because the organization does not have enough staff to devote to promoting it. But she said the Alumni Association has partnered with the Anderson School of Management and other University bodies to bring awareness of Simplicity to the campus.
“We have the vehicle that’s got the mentorship program, so we’re trying to get passengers from all the different schools to participate and make it their own,” she said. “I’m working with career services and advisement, and we’re going to be going into classrooms, talking to faculty and handing out these flyers to get students to sign up.”
MacEachen also said the Alumni Association has presented at new student orientations in the past about the now-defunct mentorship system, and plans to present about Simplicity in the future.