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Match Mentor Program

Career Success: Match Mentor (event icon)

Starting in the fall of 2018, the ASC Match Mentor Program is a college-wide initiative that matches alumni from the College of Arts and Sciences, one-to-one, with current Arts and Sciences majors. This program is a collaboration between the College of Arts and Sciences Center for Career and Professional Success, the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Advancement, and the Arts and Sciences Alumni Society Board.

For more information about how to get involved with the Arts and Sciences Center for Career and Professional Success, please email or call Scott Kustis (614-247-8698).

ASC Match Mentor program: Mentors listening to a presentation

As alumni, you have a wealth of knowledge to pass on to a student. You’re positioned to assist them by offering advice, answering questions, and giving constructive feedback as they progress through their time at Ohio State.

As a mentor, you will be matched one-to-one with a student for the duration of the school year.  You and your mentee will agree upon topics to discuss and the parameters for your time together (i.e. how often you’ll meet, where you’ll meet, etc.). The center will provide additional resources and modules to cover with your mentee which could include, for example, Professionalism in the Workplace or Utilizing Your Arts and Sciences Degree in Today’s Business World.

Ideal mentors are those who will be able to:

  • Meet a minimum of two times with their mentee,
  • Teach mentees about the value of an Arts and Sciences degree,
  • Provide career guidance and advice on the transition from the classroom to the workplace,
  • Complete program surveys and evaluations to allow us to continue to build this program.

The advantages of being a mentor are plentiful, and include: increasing the value of your Arts and Sciences degree by investing in the future of our College; connecting with the College on a deeper and more personal level; gaining experience in coaching and advising; enriching your life by making a difference in someone else’s life!

Please check back regularly for updated registration information.  If you have an interest in being a mentor please contact Scott Kustis directly, at kustis.1@osu.edu, to be added to the mentor interest list.

Match Mentor program: Group of mentors and mentees talking

The alumni mentor application is now open for the Autumn 2023 to Spring 2024 academic year:

To register to be a mentor for the 2024-2025 school year please go to: https://osu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0V8fWE9t7BtlRDU

What happens after I apply to the program?
Applications will be accepted from early August through early-September (or until the program organizers feel they have received enough applications given the space limitations of the program). All applications will be reviewed, and those chosen to participate will be notified in early September.  Applying to the program does not guarantee a spot in the program.

I’ve already completed one year of the program (as a mentor or a mentee).  Can I apply again?
Yes! If you are an alumni mentor and would like to register again, and receive a new student mentee, you’re more than welcome. Any alumni from an Arts and Sciences major is eligible to apply regardless of whether they’ve previously participated in the program.

What happens after I’m matched?
Once mentors and mentees are matched program organizers will communicate the matches to all parties involved. This will happen in mid-September. The program will then kick off each year with a launch event during Autumn Semester. At the launch event, you’ll have a chance to meet and also learn more about the logistics of the program from the program organizers.

I’m an alumnus and live outside of Ohio. Can I still apply?
Yes!  We welcome any interested alumnus to apply, but please keep in mind the parameters we have outlined for what an ideal mentor is:

  • Meet face-to-face a minimum of two times with their mentee,
  • Come back to campus for a launch event during Autumn Semester (and participate in other program events),
  • Teach mentees about the value of an Arts and Sciences degree,
  • Provide career guidance and advice on the transition from the classroom to the workplace, and
  • Complete program surveys and evaluations to allow us to continue to build this program

I’ve never been a mentor to a student before.  What should I talk about with my mentee?
This program is designed to have both structure and elements of organic growth.  Program organizers will provide discussion topics that you can engage your mentee with (such as Professionalism in the Workplace or Preparing for an Interview, for example).  We also know, however, that no two mentor/mentee relationships will be the same.  We want to allow relationships to grow organically and give mentors and mentees the freedom to explore a variety of topics that are both interesting and beneficial to both parties.

What should I do if I have any concerns about the relationship during the year?
Mentors and mentees are encouraged to contact Scott Kustis directly, at Kustis.1@osu.edu, at any time during the year with comments, concerns, or feedback.

Career Success is excited to announce our Match Mentor Program has been recognized as one of three “Alumni Program of the Year” award winners at the 2020 Ohio State University Alumni Association (OSUAA) Club and Society Leadership Symposium.

Given to promote positive engagement between students, alumni and friends of Ohio State, these awards recognize innovative programming that models the “Pay It Forward” concept.

The Match Mentor Program has been developed over the past four years, starting with a small group of trial mentor pairings and then serving 50, 100 and currently 150 students with plans to continue expanding. Mentors and mentees are paired for the academic year based on professional goals and outcomes or by major. A step-by-step handbook helps each pairing set expectations, allowing each mentoring experience to have the best possible outcomes by being customized to the participant’s goals.  

“Building relationships based on trust is what makes this program outstanding,” said Susan Munthe, an Arts and Sciences Alumni Society Board member who has been instrumental in the development of the Match Mentor Program. “Taking pride in the process and creating Buckeyes for Life who will in turn help others who come behind them is how this program will grow and thrive well into the future.”

While the focus of a mentoring program is often on the benefit to the student, the alumni who volunteer also experience very real professional growth.

“Both alumni and students can benefit from the mentoring relationship: Students gain the perspective of an objective professional while the alumni build mentoring skills that can then translate back to their own employment,” said Julie Capozzi, Alumni Society Board member and a driving force behind the Match Mentor Program.

“The mentor can rely on other Buckeye mentors to talk to the mentee about areas where they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable,” said Dennis Baer, another key alumnus involved in the creation of the program. “That is a huge advantage of having over 200,000 Arts and Sciences alumni.” 

As our world continues to move forward during a global pandemic and while social and political change occurs, mentorship has evolved to address concerns beyond strictly professional development. 

“Especially in these times of COVID-19, where there is lots of uncertainty, the mentor can reassure the mentee that these tough times will not last forever,” Baer said.  

”Mentorship during the pandemic and the associated challenges of virtual learning and job searches are providing mentors and mentees an opportunity to work outside their comfort zones,” said Christy Haiduck, Alumni Society Board Awards Chair. “The students gain insight into the give and take of the modern workplace and how it is different from the world of academia. The opportunity to give back and learn more about the current generation helps our mentors to better understand the unique characteristics of the modern student and their needs. Establishing a place where alumni and students can support each other through work, school and even social needs is a hallmark of the program.”  

The Alumni Program of the Year award from OSUAA confirms what so many arts and sciences students and alumni already knew about this program.

Capozzi says what makes the Match Mentor Program so outstanding is “the passionate alumni who wish to come back to campus for the opportunity to ‘give back’ as well as the diverse group of the best and brightest students and the dedicated staff at the Center for Career and Professional Success and Office of Advancement.”

As the Match Mentor Program continues to expand, we are constantly seeking new alumni mentors from all academic programs in The College of Arts and Sciences. If you are interested in learning more about the Match Mentor Program, connect with Scott Kustis, Director of Industry Connections for the Center for Career and Professional Success.