Guest post by:
Career Services Committee Co-Chair
Parent of Scholar Alexandra ’17
As the parent of a senior, I have shared our daughter’s experience with Schreyer Career Services since her freshman year. Yes, her freshman year! Preparing to launch a career, graduate school, law school, medical school or public service takes several years of planning, guidance, and fortitude. Students begin to plan for their post-college years from their first semester until the Spring semester of their senior year. Possibly one of the greatest benefits of Schreyer is its Career Services team!
Since August, Schreyer Career Services has hosted 33 events to help introduce and engage scholars to internship, career, R&D and Graduate School opportunities. Google, Microsoft, top consulting firms, Space-X, leading financial services firms and many other notable companies have been on campus to meet and hire Schreyer scholars. There have been leadership training, grad school, engineering and healthcare career workshops, all within the past two months. Career Services has a full schedule every week for your scholar to explore or expand their knowledge and network.
Another tremendous benefit of Career Services is The Mentoring with Honors program. This is a unique program sponsored by the Scholar Alumni Society to develop relationships between current Schreyer Scholars and Scholar alumni. The program offers opportunities for Scholar alumni to participate in the professional development of Schreyer Scholars and offers the opportunity for Scholars to explore potential career choices through firsthand experiences of Scholar alumni. Each mentoring relationship is unique and emphasizes the interests of the mentee and experiences of the mentor. The Mentoring with Honors program depends on leadership and support from Scholar alumni, students, and staff. Mentors bring diverse and seasoned experience that help our scholars navigate and shape their future. Here are some thoughts from students on their experience with the Mentoring with Honors program:
“The summer after freshman year I shadowed Matt for a day, where he introduced me to thermal engineering. Before then, I had never heard of that position. Matt helped me explore various other disciplines/focuses for a mechanical engineer. Anytime I was interning at Goddard, Matt would invite me to sit in on a design review or see the flight hardware for his project, ICESat-2, to augment my interning experience. Matt also organized a shadow day at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for members of the Lunar Lion team so that we could network and learn from professionals in our individual subsystems.”
“The Mentoring with Honors program has enhanced my Schreyer experience as it has allowed me to meet someone who went through basically exactly what I am going through (seriously though, today we bonded about how I got into HealthWorks and she was involved with it also) and has used it to become successful within the field of nutrition. I hope to achieve what she has, and she has helped me to solidify some of the things I would like to see myself doing in the future.”
“I learned a great deal from my mentor. I want to pursue a career in law, but I had no family in that field, so Rosanna was a phenomenal resource. She talked to me about realistic issues lawyers face (family, marriage, etc.) and how to succeed in the field. She helped give an unbiased option when I was choosing law school, and helped me consider various factors that would influence my decision.”
“The Mentoring with Honors Program was without a doubt the single most important part of my professional development process at Penn State. I feel incredibly lucky to have been matched with someone like Sean, who has both a great deal of interesting professional experience and a deep willingness to help the next generation of honors students succeed. In August I will begin a yearlong position as a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC. I will primarily be assisting with research related to the Chinese economy.”
One mentor best summed up his involvement in the Mentoring with Honors Program as:
“I have always been surrounded by fantastic mentors who have supported and guided my career at every step. I wanted to give back to this Penn State community and support our next generation of Scholars.”
Learn more about this valuable experience provided to scholars at: https://www.shc.psu.edu/life/career/mentoring.cfm
As parents, we know from experience the greatest gifts in our life are the people who help shape our lives. Having at least one great mentor can help shape a scholar’s life. Please think about how you could make a difference by sharing your professional and life experiences to provide additional perspective and guidance to students. You will be remembered and revered for a lifetime!
As we continue to expand our Mentor network, encourage your scholar to reach out to mentors and schedule informational interviews with professionals in your community to expand their network. If it were not for our mentors, where would we be today?