Career & Leadership Mentoring Initiative

The Career and Leadership Mentoring Initiative connects approximately 50 students (sophomores through seniors) to alumni and Davidson community mentors. While the mentoring relationship can take various forms, all mentors will help Davidson students prepare to make a positive impact in the world and translate their liberal arts education into a meaningful and impactful life.

Mentors will build coaching, communication and leadership skills while working one-on-one to help Davidson students build lives and careers that reflect their talents, passions, and values. 

Program Dates: October 17, 2013 - April 2014

Minimum Time Commitment: Approximately 2 hours per month

Student Application Period: September 16-30, 2013 

Mentor and Mentee Notification: October 10, 2013

Program Orientation (for local mentors and their mentees): October 17, 2013, 7 p.m.


Program Structure

Mentors and mentees agree to communicate at least twice a month, for a total of between one and four hours per month, throughout the duration of the program. Local mentor and mentee pairs will attend a fall orientation on October 17, a reconnection lunch in January and a reception in the spring. Out-of-town mentors and their mentees must participate in an online orientation. Additional meetings and conversations may take place on campus, at the mentor's workplace or home, in public spaces, by Skype, by phone, and/or by e-mail.

In addition to frequent conversations, mentor-mentee activities might include resume, cover letter, or graduate school application reviews; mock interviews; workplace tours; job shadowing opportunities; attending an activity or meeting related to the student's campus and community involvement and/or attending local events of mutual interest.

Mentors' Responsibilities

  • Represent their career field, reflecting their profession's attitudes, concerns and insights
  • Help their students to identify and reach realistic goals by listening, defining goals, assessing progress, and celebrating accomplishments
  • Maintain and model professional behavior, defining professional behavior for their mentees as needed
  • Assist their mentees in bridging the gap between college life and the world beyond Davidson College
  • Provide developmental feedback on strengths and weaknesses
  • Coach students in areas such as networking, leadership, and their transition from Davidson, when applicable
  • Communicate any problems that may arise, including an inability to continue participating in the program, to the program directors

Responsibilities of Mentees

  • Initiate and maintain contact with their mentors throughout the course of the program
  • Be sensitive to the multiple demands on their mentors' time and appreciative of the support their mentors provide
  • Invest time and energy to get to know their mentors
  • Recognize that a mentor's advocacy is not automatic–it must be earned
  • Identify goals, suggest next steps, and let the mentor know when they need support or assistance
  • Be true students, absorbing (and, if appropriate, challenging) the perspectives, knowledge, and life experience of their mentors
  • Communicate any problems that may arise, including an inability to continue participating in the program, to the program directors

Student Application Process (September 16-30)

Students apply by submitting applications to specific registered mentors. While no mentee will ultimately have more than one mentor, students may apply to up to three. Follow these steps to apply:

  1. Have your resume reviewed and approved by the Center for Career Development if you have not already done so.
  2. Review professional biographies of the mentors on WildcatLink and select mentors of interest (up to three).
  3. Submit a resume and a cover letter to each mentor of interest in WildcatLink. The cover letter should include three things: a) a description of why this particular mentor is a good fit for you, b) a description of what you hope to get out of the mentoring relationship, and c) some information on your preferred modes of communication.
  4. Fill out a mentor program preference form, where you will rank the mentors to whom you have applied. (This form will not be sent to the mentors themselves.)

Note that the application process is competitive; not every student who applies for one or more mentors will receive one. Students who are not matched are welcome to meet with staff in the Center for Career Development or the Chidsey Center for Leadership Development to discuss other ways to acquire mentors. 

Selection & Notification Process

Student applications will be sent to mentors for review starting September 30. The Center for Career Development and the Chidsey Center for Leadership Development will match students with mentors based on the preferences of both parties. All mentors and mentees will be notified by October 10.

Contact Information

To learn more about the Career and Leadership Mentoring Initiative or if you have questions, contact Amber MacIntyre at 704-894-2122.