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Welcome Aboard

The Welcome Aboard Mentorship Program offers students the chance to be matched with Chatham alumni or local professionals who will share their experience, offer support, and provide guidance.

Welcome Aboard is available to undergraduate students starting their first year at Chatham University and runs from September through April.

[This program] helped me by having an outside perspective on college. My mentor provided insight into things that I would not have known from just talking to my peers. Not just professionally, but also "life hacks" around campus!

2018 Welcome Aboard Mentee

Mentees: are you ready to take the next step?

Your mentor can share their experience, offer support and guidance, and give you professional insight and experience within their industry. Having a mentor is an opportunity to begin envisioning your own future, and learn from the accomplishments, setbacks, and experiences of someone who is invested in your success. 

Apply Today

Mentors: are you ready to make a difference?

We're eager to connect you, our valued alumni and Chatham community members, with our impressive Chatham students. Welcome Aboard offers students the chance to be matched with a mentor who will be a guide as they take the next step in their college journey. Our students will learn and benefit from your experience, support, and guidance during their first year at Chatham! 

Apply Today


Frequently Asked Questions: Mentees

Being a mentee can provide you with opportunities for professional and personal development; help you translate values, strategies, and goals into productive actions; aid you in developing new or different perspectives; provide assistance with your ideas and answers to your questions; reveal your strengths; help you explore your potential; and build your career network. In addition to the monthly communications, mentors are required to provide mentees with a virtual professional experience. Past examples have included informational interviews or attendance of a professional event.
The best mentor for you! You will be matched with a Chatham Alumna/us or member of the Chatham community. Your mentor may have had the same major as you or may work in the field you want to enter. In other cases, they will be involved in community organizations outside of their workplace that fit your interests. Every mentor is committed to their mentee's transition to college and professional development!

In order for your mentoring experience to be as beneficial as possible, we'll expect you to attend a one-hour training session, communicate with your mentor once a month, and take part in the professional development opportunity offered by your mentor.

Additionally, we encourage you to take part in campus events that will be announced through the monthly Welcome Aboard Newsletter. This will help to bring you closer to your mentor and the other students participating in the program. You can find a list of those events here

Your mentor will provide you with guidance and support while sharing with you their own college and professional experiences. Mentors are there to help you build and achieve your goals, and offer advice to help you make the most of your collegiate experience! Be sure to set realistic goals for yourself and your mentor. It's good to spend some time during your first meeting discussing what you both expect from each other over the course of the academic year.
Although you can choose the topics you most want to discuss, some common topics have included: personal and/or professional goals, the transition to college, campus involvement, how the college experience translates to the workplace, networking, and professional development. 
There are lots of ways to be a good mentee, but some of the big ones are: attend all required events and training sessions, communicate with your mentor at least once a month, be professional with your communication, set realistic expectations for what you can achieve and what guidance your mentor can provide, participate in the professional development opportunity, take full advantage of your mentoring relationship, and have fun with it!

Frequently Asked Questions: Mentors

We know that lots of Alumni and friends of Chatham simply want to give back to the institution and this is a unique way to do just that! Your time and talents are valuable gifts and are appreciated by the students.

Being a mentor provides many opportunities for professional development. It can renew your enthusiasm for your role as an expert in your field and help you to enhance your coaching, counseling, listening, and modeling skills. Mentoring can help you to develop your personal leadership style and give you the chance to share your knowledge. Additionally, working as a mentor can help you increase your generational awareness and remind you of the barriers faced by college students and graduates hoping to enter the contemporary workforce.

Two characteristics shared by all successful mentors are good management skills and the ability to build interpersonal relationships and trust. A good mentor understands their student's needs, strengths, and abilities and uses this knowledge to delegate feasible tasks that will supplement their college experience. They should also nurture each student's self-sufficiency and encourage them to take part in relevant professional development opportunities.

In addition to being a source of professional knowledge, a good mentor is relatable, available and approachable, enthusiastic, respectful, and cognizant of a student's need for structure and guidance. And, of course, you'll want to stay in touch with your mentee and attend any required Welcome Aboard program events!

The best student for you! As a mentor, you will be matched with a Chatham student starting their first term of college. A match will typically put you in contact with a student who has a similar path of study or career goal to your own, or a student who might share your interests and/or co-curricular experiences.
All Welcome Aboard mentors are expected to attend a one-hour orientation session before the fall term begins, meet with their mentee once a month, and offer a one-time professional development experience for their mentee.

Additionally, we encourage you to take part in virtual campus events that will be announced through the monthly Welcome Aboard Newsletter. This will help to bring you closer to your mentee and your fellow Welcome Aboard mentors.
While support may vary on a case-by-case basis, it is generally expected that Welcome Aboard mentors will provide their mentees with professional and/or personal support and guidance, including a one-time professional experience. Previous examples have included allowing them to conduct an informational interview on you or attending a professional event.
Although you and your mentee can select any topics you want to discuss, some common topics have included: personal and/or professional goals, the transition to college, interests and campus involvement, how the college experience translates to the workplace, networking, and professional development.
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Contact Us

For more information, please email Katie Thoma, Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement & Volunteer Programs, Office of Alumni Relations, at k.thoma@chatham.edu or call her at 412-365-1652.