The Career Center has created the new Mears Mentor position to foster increased interaction between the Center and first-year entries. Open to rising sophomores in its inaugural year, the Mears Mentor position will primarily have sophomores serve first-years as advisors on questions surrounding their professional life during and after their time at the College. Mears Mentors will also assist first-year students in navigating the Center, encouraging them to develop resumes and attend sessions of the Career Discovery program.
The Mears Mentor program will work in concert with the existing Career Discovery program, which encourages first-year students to “take earlier advantage of self-assessment and experiential learning opportunities to clarify their strengths and interests,” according to the Career Center’s website. “This idea kind of surfaced as we were rolling out our new kind of workshop series; [Asistant Director] Karen Cardozo has been spearheading that effort,” John Noble, director of the Career Center, said. “It occurred to us that we were generating a lot of traffic to the different workshops and to the Career Center. We were thinking, well, how can we get some help in getting the message out, getting basic advice out particularly to new students, knowing that people should in addition to their academics be thinking about what they want to do when they leave [the College].”
The duties of Mears Mentors revolve around being available to help first-years consider how to prepare for life after the College. According to the application, “[Mears Mentors] will serve as a liaison between the [Career Center] and both Junior Advisors and new students – answering general questions about the career exploration and job/internship search process and publicizing relevant [Career Center] programs.” The position’s general responsibilities include participating in a brief September training, attending a few entry snacks a semester and Career Center meetings, being accessible to first-years as a peer advisor in person and online, publicizing events and workshops and encouraging first-years to draft a resume by year’s end. Additionally, Mears Mentors will have the option of serving as a workshop Teaching Assistant during Winter Study, a prime time for the Career Center to target first-years as they are required to be on campus.
The Career Center sees the new Mears Mentor position as a way to foster more relationships between the center and the student body. “Everything we do is kind of a part of this career discovery process and getting more student involvement is always a good thing,” Noble said. “There are only five counselors on our staff and 2200 students, so we need to get our arms around that number somehow in different ways and 13 more people helping us out would be a good thing.”