Micayla Moffit ’24 and Cathy Fish (BSA ’93, DVM ’96) have a lot in common. They both love going to UGA football games. They’re both current or aspiring veterinarians. And they were both a little nervous about getting started in the UGA Mentor Program.
Cathy was concerned that she may not have knowledge that would fit her mentee’s needs. Before meeting Cathy, Micayla was uneasy about how she would relate to a mentor older than her.
“I don’t know how to talk to anyone like an adult!” Micayla joked.
About the Program
The UGA Mentor Program is a digital platform which allows students to form mentoring relationships with UGA faculty, staff, and alumni, regardless of geographic location, who can help make their future a little clearer. Mentees also have the option to schedule 15-to-30-minute one-time conversations with mentors, called Quick Chats.
Students and mentors create online profiles with their backgrounds, career interests and mentorship goals. The system offers potential matches or students can search for a mentor on their own before making plans to meet virtually or in person, depending on their schedule. Formal mentorships last for 16 weeks, and students can start one at any time through the program website.
A Perfect Fit
Cathy’s mentoring relationship with Micayla was a perfect fit. The two hit it off from the start of their first lunch meeting, despite Micayla’s nerves.
“Meeting someone for the first time, I always get butterflies in my stomach,” Micayla said. “What are we going to talk about?”
Micayla was reassured by the numerous resources available on the Mentor Program website to help prepare her for their initial conversation. Because she knew why she had sought out a mentor and what she was hoping to learn, it was easy for her to focus their conversation on helpful topics.
“The conversation just flowed really well,” Micayla said. “I was really comfortable.”
Micayla joined the program because a student organization she was in had encouraged her to apply and find a mentor. Cathy had heard about the program through her service on the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors and thought it might be a good opportunity to give back to students.
Building a Meaningful Relationship
Over the course of their mentor relationship, Micayla and Cathy have gotten to know one another not just professionally, but personally. They talk about their personal lives and know one another outside of their career goals.
“We can go to lunch and not talk about anything related to vet school or my major,” Micayla said. “We talk about football all the time.”
Micayla, a member of the Redcoat Band, is a huge UGA football fan. When Cathy came back to Athens for a football game last fall, Micayla even arranged for the two to meet so Cathy could see her in her uniform.
Micayla was pleasantly surprised by how she was able to build such a meaningful relationship with her mentor. If you’re nervous about reaching out, too, she has one piece of advice: “Just go for it. You’ll never know what that relationship could lead to if you don’t actually just go for it.”