TCNJ engineering alumni are committed to giving back. Our mentoring program matches engineering students with alumni mentors who can offer career and education guidance, plus share their personal experiences. Students and their mentors interact through special events organized by the program, like Alumni Panel and Alumni Networking Events, designated activities, and on an individual basis if mutually desired. For students, the program is a required element of Engineering Seminar III, designed to offer support and perspective during junior year.
To help establish a connection, students and mentors engage in two assigned exercise:
- Career Path Interview – The student gets to know his or her new mentor by asking about career paths and creating 1 to 2-page summary that explores impactful decisions and directions.
- Resume Review – The mentor reviews his or her student’s resume and gives feedback based on objectives—usually internship or full-time employment.
How Alumni and Students are Matched
Alumni mentors are paired with students based on three criteria: major, professional interest, and company or sector to ensure a valuable match. Ideally, three students are assigned to each mentor.
It’s a Win-Win
- Access to potential employees or interns
- Additional networking opportunities with other alumni
- Satisfaction of supporting the up-and-coming engineers
- An intro to our vibrant engineering alumni network
- Education and career mentoring from the alumni perspective
- Valuable networking experience
- Access to potential employers
The program is embedded as a requirement in the course ENG 093, Engineering Seminar III. Most of the students in this course are juniors, although there may be some seniors or advanced sophomores. Beginning the mentoring experience in the junior year is ideal because this is a year in which many career decisions become more in focus for the student. Moreover, the students have gained enough background to seek specific answers to questions about their chosen field. After the requirements of the course have been satisfied, the mentoring relationship is free to continue if amenable to both the mentor and student – students are encouraged to update their mentors on their progress toward graduation and beyond.
A note to our education majors:
Our education majors currently receive specialized mentoring as part of the professional development sequence within their curriculum. With that strong mentor experience already in place, the Engineering Alumni Mentoring Program is currently limited to engineering majors only.