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Three Alumnae and a Dawg

This story was written by Rosalyn Dunn.

When Molly Dunn (BS ’23) signed up for UGA’s Mentor Program, she figured it would be a good way to find out more about careers in her major and a get a head start on making professional contacts.

Looking through the lists of potential mentors, she felt drawn to Tonya Freeman (AB ’86). And it became clear from the first phone call that the choice was a good one.

“I have mentored for over 30 years—all age groups from elementary school to college to peers and friends and family,” Tonya said. She started as a mentor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, partnering with Tilson Elementary School—which she attended—and went on to develop formal and informal programs for CDC employees. It only seemed natural to get involved with the UGA Mentor Program, where she has mentored multiple young women at UGA who are studying Statistics.

“These young ladies are breaking the glass ceiling in the field and have made their impact known,” she said. “It is the best feeling of giving back.”

For many UGA Mentorship pairs, the program lasts about 4 months. Tonya, however, told Molly that if she wanted to continue working together, they could.

And they did, meeting faithfully over Zoom calls once a month, even on vacation. They scheduled in-person meetings when possible, including an afternoon in Athens when Tonya brought her daughter, Tai, for a tour of UGA. Tonya also helped Molly make connections with the CDC’s surveillance unit for a summer internship.

“There is so much that’s uncertain, so many directions to go and a little fear about what’s coming after school,” Molly said. “Seeing someone as vibrant and confident as Tonya in a competitive field—especially as a woman in STEM—who went through the same program I did and is now leading a happy and successful life was inspiring and encouraging.”

That success is exactly what both the UGA Mentor Program and Tonya seek to achieve.

“In mentoring, I aim to celebrate, connect, educate, and support my mentees,” Tonya said. “It is so rewarding to see others excel.”

Molly’s senior year at UGA paralleled Tonya’s daughter Tai’s senior year of high school and brought about an ironic twist to the mentoring relationship.

“I finally got the chance to do something in return,” said Molly’s mother, Rosalyn Dunn (ABJ ’92), first by giving Tai some writing advice on her application essays, and later, after the fireworks email erupted in Tai’s inbox and announced her acceptance, by helping Tonya navigate tuition payments and sources for campus information.

“I also checked in to see how she was holding up, because it wasn’t that long ago that I knew the feeling of missing a daughter at home and worrying about how she was doing at school,” Rosalyn said.

The mentoring relationship also expanded to the younger generation, with Molly advising Tai on housing choices, dorm essentials and campus navigation tips.

In June, “three alumnae and a Dawg” met at The Battery in Atlanta to share a meal and celebrate Tai’s UGA acceptance and Molly’s graduation. A couple of months later, Tonya and Rosalyn met for a Braves game at Truist Park, where they texted their girls and reveled in an unexpected benefit to the UGA Mentor Program.

“It’s been an amazing relationship turned friendship,” Tonya said. “We are looking forward to more great times.”

Nervous about the UGA Mentor Program? Just go for it!

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.”

SIGN UP TO BE A MENTOR

Hear from your peers how rewarding it is to serve as a UGA Mentor

Why now? 

Students will be back soon and looking to connect with experienced Bulldogs like you. In the video above, you’ll hear why your fellow alumni find mentoring so rewarding they don’t want you to miss out. 

Connect anywhere and on your schedule. Getting started is easy. 

  • Create a profile at mentor.uga.edu. 
  • Accept a student request for mentorship.

What’s the commitment? 

  • 1-2 hours per month for four months (16 weeks).
  • Share knowledge, experiences and feedback (and, sometimes, just listen).

Quick Chats require even less of a time commitment. 

If a 16-week mentorship doesn’t suit your schedule, consider making yourself available for 15-to-30-minute Quick Chats with students instead. 

Help a student realize their potential. 

I feel that the UGA Mentor Program has allowed me to grow beyond being a student and I will be leaving here with more than just a degree.UGA Student

It may surprise you how much YOU get out of giving back in this way! 

On the fence? Want to learn more? 

To help new and potential mentors, the UGA Mentor Program is hosting a webinar, UGA Mentor Program 101, on Aug. 2 at 3:30 p.m. EDT. You will hear from successful mentor/mentee pairings, learn best practices for forming a strong connection, understand all the ways the program supports mentors, and discover tips to become an effective mentor. 

5 things that make you a much-needed mentor

Since the University of Georgia is gearing up for another school year, now is the perfect time to become a UGA Mentor. If you relate to even one of these attributes, there’s a UGA student coming this fall that can use a mentor just like you.

1) You came to UGA facing different challenges than most of your classmates.

Students want to see themselves reflected in their mentors—whether that be through race/ethnicity, disability, background, whatever. Be a role model to a student who can benefit from your experience.

2) You remember what being a UGA student felt like.

Stepping onto a university campus can be daunting. Students are encountering new experiences in a new environment with new challenges, all while trying to decide how they want to spend the next 30-plus years of life. You’ve been in their shoes. You know that nobody has all the answers. You can help—sometimes by just listening to them voice their fears and vent.

3) You want to build on the confidence others inspired in you.

You realize that you would not be where you are without your UGA education and all the people who stepped up for you along the way. Show your appreciation by paying it forward and offering a hand up to the student you once were. It may amaze you how much YOU get out of giving back as a mentor.

4) You’re the first to take advantage of resources offered to you.

The UGA Mentor Program is here to support the mentorship process with guidelines, ice breakers and more for each step along the way. Learn more at UGA Mentor Program 101, a webinar for those who are mentors and those who are considering becoming one, on Wednesday Aug. 2 at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

5) You look to plan ahead and thoughtfully budget your time.

The UGA Mentor Program is simple to join, and mentoring fits within your schedule. A 16-week mentorship requires just one to two hours per month. Making yourself available for 15-to-30-minute Quick Chats is another option. And you can connect via phone, Zoom, text, email—whatever works best for you, no matter where you are.

You may be just the mentor students are looking for! Discover all the benefits of connecting with other Bulldogs by serving as a UGA Mentor!

 

UGA Class of 2022 achieves 96% career outcomes rate

Class of 2022 results are in, and once again, University of Georgia graduates have shown that their experience as UGA students prepared them to succeed beyond graduation.

According to career outcomes data released by the UGA Career Center, 96% of UGA Class of 2022 graduates were employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.

This year marks UGA’s 11th consecutive year with a career outcomes rate of 90% or higher. The career outcomes rate of UGA’s previous seven graduating classes has consistently been 8% to 11% higher than the national career outcomes rate, as published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Among the Class of 2022 UGA graduates, 63% reported being employed full time; 24% were continuing their education; and 10% were engaged in post-graduate internships, fellowships, residencies, postdoctoral research, part-time jobs or said they were not seeking employment.

“This impressive career outcomes rate reflects the positive impact of numerous collaborative efforts undertaken by the UGA community to prepare our students for successful careers,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “It is clear that a UGA education provides an extraordinary return on investment for our students and their families.”

UGA Class of 2022 graduates were hired by 2,998 unique employers and are working full time across a wide range of sectors, including:

  • Business: 68%
  • Education: 20%
  • Government: 7%
  • Nonprofits: 6%

Top employers include Amazon, Bank of America, Boehringer Ingelheim, Chick-fil-A, Delta Air Lines, PricewaterhouseCoopers and The Home Depot. See the full list.

GAINING EMPLOYMENT

Class of 2022 graduate Jessica Tardy found employment as a product analyst with FLEETCOR Technologies in Atlanta, where she manages customer insights, tests customer journeys, and coordinates product changes between cross-functional teams. Tardy says the UGA Career Center aided her search by connecting her with alumni through LinkedIn, TerryConnect and the UGA Mentor Program.

Like Tardy, 87% of graduates employed full time or in post-graduate internships reported that their job aligns with their career aspirations. Additionally, more than half of survey respondents who indicated that they were employed had secured their employment prior to graduation.

As a land-grant and sea-grant institution, UGA is committed to supporting Georgia’s workforce needs. Of the Class of 2022 graduates, 69% accepted jobs within Georgia, strengthening organizations and communities across the state. The remaining 31% secured positions across 48 U.S. states and 31 countries.

FURTHERING EDUCATION

Jaquarius K. Raglin is a 2022 graduate who chose to continue his education, pursuing a Master in the Study of Law from the University of Georgia’s School of Law. He is preparing for a career in health policy and credits the UGA Career Center with helping him prepare for life after school, especially through on-campus resume review days, one-on-one appointments with career consultants and finding a mentor through the UGA Mentor Program.

Raglin represents the 24% of Class of 2022 graduates who are now furthering their education in top schools such as Columbia University, New York University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Vanderbilt University and, of course, UGA.

The UGA Career Center calculates the career outcomes rate each January by collecting information from surveys, phone calls, employer reporting, UGA departments, the National Student Clearinghouse and social media websites such as LinkedIn. The current data is based on the known career outcomes of 8,073 graduates from the Class of 2022.

NOTE: Percentages may add up to over 100 because of rounding.

For more information about the Class of 2022 career outcomes, visit career.uga.edu/outcomes.

To learn about hiring UGA graduates, visit hireuga.com.

 

 

Start the year off with Mentorship in mind

January is Mentoring Month, just in time for the beginning of a new year! New beginnings mean new opportunities, and becoming a mentor is a great way to support UGA students as the semester begins.  

In honor of International Mentoring Day on January 17th, we spoke with UGA mentee and UGA Mentor Program Ambassador Moira La Fuente (Class of 2024) and her UGA mentor Melissa Adomako (BS ’13) about their experience in the program and why they believe others can benefit too.

  

Why did you first choose to engage with the Mentor Program? 

Melissa: I have always been passionate about mentoring and coaching students. Even as a UGA student, I served as a resident assistant, mentoring younger students. The Mentor Program stood out to me because it was a structured way to connect with students and meet people who have similar interests to mine. 

Moira: Mentorship allowed me to be focused on my career. My major is very broad, so having a mentor with experience in different sectors was really important to my professional growth. Having Melissa as an example has been really helpful. 

 

What has been the most meaningful part of your experience? 

Moira: Connecting on things that are not strictly just professional has been incredibly meaningful to me. Melissa was an international student like I am, so we have connected through shared experiences beyond just career paths. 

Melissa: This relationship has truly blossomed into a friendship. Even though it is a short-term mentoring relationship, I can see our mentorship continuing on throughout our lives. Moira can always reach out to me regardless of what path she decides to take. 

 

What have you gotten out of the program thus far? 

Moira: I have gained a broader perspective on the different types of jobs that are available for my major. After connecting with mentors, I have realized there is much more to my major than I ever thought. 

Melissa: Staying connected with young people makes me feel young! I am always on the lookout for opportunities to share with Moira and other mentees, and I always try to find connections to my mentee. It keeps me curious and wanting to make more connections. 

 

What is your favorite part of the UGA Mentor Program? 

Melissa: For me, it’s getting to talk to younger people and advising them on things that I would have done differently when I was in their shoes. When I was at UGA, we did not have the Mentor Program, so I did not have people to reach out to who were in established careers. I wanted to be a resource, because I did not have that. 

Moira: The accessibility is very appealing. As a student living in Athens, I did not think I would be able to connect with a professional like Melissa who travels frequently. Having accessibility to someone who is in the field you want to be in, regardless of location, is very good. 

 

Why do you think that more mentees and mentors should participate in the program? 

Moira: More mentees should enroll in the Mentor Program because it is not only about professional growth, but also personal growth. It’s a great coaching relationship. 

Melissa: More mentors should join the program to share wisdom. It is always good for older people to share their knowledge with younger people and provide them with a sense of community outside of Athens. Both of my mentees have been absolutely wonderful. 

 

January, National Mentoring Month, is a terrific time to become a mentor and contribute to the lives of UGA students. You might be amazed how much YOU get out of giving back in this way! Learn more at mentor.uga.edu. 

Become a Mentor

Mentee to Ambassador to Mentor—coming full circle

This story first appeared on UGA Today.

Bella Sci entered the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication focused on working in the Big Apple one day. She credits her experience in the UGA Mentor Program for giving her the confidence to go after what she wanted. “I always wanted to move to NYC, but it seemed so big and so far away,” Sci explained. “Talking to mentors who had made the leap convinced me not to let my fears hold me back.”

Those mentors made Sci realize, if there ever was a time to take a chance, it was right out of college. “I had this idea that when you graduated, you had to know what you are doing. I thought decisions made at this time were permanent—would set the course of my life. My mentors reassured me that nothing is forever, and everyone is still figuring it out. ‘Believing in what is possible is almost more important than what you do right now.’ That perspective shattered any barriers in my mind,” Sci said.

Sci graduated from UGA in May 2022 and took off to New York to follow her dreams. She now works for RocaNews, a small 13-person media startup. She loves her role as community and growth lead where she is helping to build a company with the goal of delivering nonpartisan and balanced news. Sci said, “Doing something I feel passionate about makes me feel fulfilled.”

Now a UGA mentor herself, conquering self-doubt is a message Sci passes on to her own UGA mentee. “Acknowledging the role mentors played in my career development and in providing guidance through my college years, I couldn’t wait to become a mentor and return the favor,” Sci said.

Her UGA Mentee, Kelsey DuPuy (Class of 2025) is benefiting from Sci’s experience. Like Sci, DuPuy is an advertising major at Grady. “Being able to ask questions and get advice from someone who’s been here opened my eyes to things at UGA I didn’t know about. I’ve gained a frame of reference on both college life and what comes next,” DuPuy said. Following advice from Sci, DuPuy has become involved in the Red & Black and is building a network through LinkedIn. The fact that Sci worked in NYC made her an attractive mentor to DuPuy. “Bella’s story is motivating to me. It gives me confidence in the choices I’m making,” she said.

Sci first joined the UGA Mentor Program as a sophomore. “I had just transferred into UGA when a friend told me about the program. I was looking to add some professionals to my life, beyond my friends and family, hoping to gain insight into the real world after college,” Sci recalled. She said it was valuable to speak to someone who had walked in shoes she hoped to one day fill.

Sci was later inspired to become a UGA Mentor Program ambassador, giving her an opportunity to develop programming, partnerships and marketing strategies to bring heightened awareness to the mentor program. “Having had such a fantastic experience with my first mentor, I thought, ‘Why doesn’t everyone have one of these?’ I couldn’t believe people didn’t know about the program. I wanted to let everyone know what it’s like to have someone in your corner,” Sci said.

Now, Sci is a champion for becoming a mentor. “Everyone has something unique to offer. You don’t realize how valuable your experience is until you speak to someone who is looking for exactly what you have to give. I wouldn’t have known that I wanted to work in a startup if I hadn’t connected with a mentor who worked in one,” Sci said. “Your experience is everything. Share it!

January is National Mentoring Month and Jan 11 is “I am a UGA Mentor Day.” To learn more about the UGA Mentor Program, visit mentor.uga.edu.

Celebrate Mentoring Month!

January is National Mentoring Month, and the UGA Mentor Program is thrilled to host events all month long to celebrate and highlight mentorship in all its forms.

Key Mentoring Month Dates:

January 11: I am a UGA Mentor Day (Virtual) – If you are a UGA Mentor, celebrate on social media using #UGAMentor. If you’re not yet a UGA Mentor, learn more about the benefits of the program at mentor.uga.edu.

January 16: Dr. MLK Day of Service (Virtual) – Explore virtual volunteering opportunities and plan something with your mentee. Share your story using #UGAMentor

January 17: International Mentoring Day (Virtual) – Join in the fun with these UGA Mentor Program graphics and celebrate mentorship around the world using #UGAMentor on social media.

January 18: UGA Mentor Program Welcome (Tabling Event on Campus, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tate Concourse) – UGA Mentor Program Ambassadors will be out on campus recruiting new mentees. Let us know if you’d like to volunteer your time to come help us.

January 20: International Coffee Hour (Event on Campus) – Come join us from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Ballroom to learn how mentorship differs from culture to culture and how mentors can support international students on their UGA journey. If you were an international student or worked/studied abroad and would like to help us with this event, please let us know!

January 26: I am a UGA Mentee Day (Virtual) – Even if you’re not yet an official UGA Mentor, celebrate students who have recognized the benefits of becoming a UGA Mentee. Don’t forget to use #UGAMentor on social media.

January 27: Black Male Mentoring Dinner (Event in Athens) – This is an invitation-only event, hosted in partnership with the UGA Office of Institutional Diversity. For more information, email ugamentor@uga.edu

January 31: Thank Your UGA Mentor Day (Virtual) – Help us thank all the UGA alumni, faculty and staff who have discovered the joys of giving back as UGA Mentors. Be sure to use #UGAMentor on social media.

Take the next step!

Joining the UGA Mentor Program is a convenient and rewarding way to provide guidance to a new generation of Bulldogs. It may surprise you how much YOU get from giving back this way! Visit mentor.uga.edu to read inspiring testimonials from program participants, scroll through FAQs and discover how easy it is to sign up.

Become a mentor

Mentorship isn’t scary!

National Mentoring Day, October 27, falls in the middle of “spooky season.” In honor of the day and the season, the UGA Mentor Program is debunking the myth that mentorship can be scary.

We spoke with UGA mentee and UGA Mentor Program Ambassador Sahar Joshi (Class of 2024) and her UGA mentor Will Caplan (AB ’16, AB ’16), senior wargaming analyst for Booz Allen Hamilton, about their experiences in the program and what they would say to ease the fears of potential participants.

Did you have any fears about joining the UGA Mentor Program?

S: I was a little intimated. Browsing through the profiles of potential mentors, I found they were all somebody I wanted to impress; somebody I wanted to be like. I was afraid I wasn’t worthy, and I’d be wasting their time. But the program emphasized that UGA Mentors are volunteering their time because they WANT to hear from students.

W: For me, I was afraid that I wasn’t far enough removed from being a student myself. What if my journey was too specific to be of help to anyone else? But I thought back to when I was in their shoes. This was before UGA had established this mentorship program, and people took time to help me out. I just knew I needed to pay it forward.

What inspired you to sign up?

S: I knew what I wanted to do. I was focused on national security and wanted to end up in D.C. I felt like the mentor program would be a great way to empower myself to learn from people who had been through the same process as me and had made it in this field.

W: I remember back when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I wished for someone to talk to. I wanted to find someone established in their career but not so far along that they could no longer relate to college life or understand pop culture references. I signed up to serve in that role for a student looking for what I had been looking for at their age.

Were you nervous to meet for the first time?

W: Definitely. I have an eccentric sense of humor and I talk really fast. With my personality, you either really enjoy it or find it overwhelming. And not knowing this other person and what they’re looking to get out of mentorship brought up questions. Am I going to be able to do enough? Am I going to meet their expectations?

S: That comes as a complete shock to me. I didn’t pick up on that at all. When I first met Will, I was just so focused on digesting the information we were going through. Every time I thought of a question while he was talking, he’d move on with what he was saying and answer it, without me having to ask. Will came across as someone who was completely prepared and confident. But I am kind of glad to hear that we were actually in the same boat at that first meeting.

Is there a fear mentorship helped you overcome?

S: There are so many. Going for an internship in D.C. was scary. I had never been that far away from home and family. But Will helped me out in so many ways. I remember being scared of not being perfect in front of him, but, especially during mock interviews, Will helped me understand it was better to make a mistake in front of him than in the actual interview. I honestly think that’s a great example of what mentorship is like. A mentor is someone you can make mistakes in front of. You learn you don’t have to be perfect, just be prepared and be comfortable with yourself.

W: One of my favorite pieces of advice to give mentees is to not make perfect the enemy of good. I think the best part of the mentee/mentor relationship is being able to talk things through. I always tell mentees not to feel like they have to have everything figured out. No one has everything planned and in place. Ask questions. Be flexible. It’s okay not to feel totally in control of every aspect. That’s life.

What surprised you about mentorship?

Will and Sahar at Braves game in D.C.

W: I’d say I was most surprised about how the relationship is so much fuller and focused on topics beyond professionalism and career. For instance, Sahar and I have really bonded over our shared love of the Atlanta Braves baseball. When Sahar was in D.C. for her internship, we made it a point to go watch the Braves play the Nats. And being a part of the mentor program has made me feel more connected to UGA. It’s made me want to give back even more because I can see how rewarding and helpful it is.

S: I came into this with a vision of what I wanted my future to look like. Then Will played a part in destroying that vision in the best way possible. (She laughs.) But he also helped me build it back up in a more realistic way. There is so much you don’t know, can’t know, until you talk to someone who DOES know—especially with industries that are specialized or location-based. Mentorship is great for bridging that gap! It’s amazing the confidence you get from someone being your personal cheerleader and encouraging you every step of the way—whether it’s a rejection letter or an acceptance letter, and we’ve been through both.

W: When Sahar got that internship and was able to come to D.C., it was so satisfying like, “We did it!”

S: Yeah, I remember when we grabbed coffee in D.C. and I was sort of debriefing Will on my internship. We celebrated because we had set this goal and worked through all the steps, then we made it happen together.

So, if mentorship isn’t scary, what’s something that is?

S: Zombies.

W: Mannequins. (shudder)

Learn more about the totally non-scary UGA Mentor Program at mentor.uga.edu.

A STEM mentorship that blossomed into an enduring relationship

Aria Morrill (Class of 2023) is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in agriculture, focused on food science in general, and research and development in particular. This summer, she is expanding her knowledge through an internship with Conagra Brands. Aria said, “I am here because of Anna—straight up!”

Anna Wilson (BSA ’05, MS ’07) serves as the Director of Research and Development (Protein) for Rich Products Corporation and Aria’s mentor through the UGA Mentor Program. “Real-world challenges weren’t necessarily covered when I was in school,” Anna explained. “I loved my time at UGA and thought it would be awesome to talk to students about the things I wished I had learned. Women, especially, may need mentorship in this industry.”

Aria firmly believes that she has her internship, thanks to Anna. “The way she prepared me gave me everything I needed to interview well. She taught me vocabulary and shared industry knowledge that puts me ahead of my peers. Her guidance shaped the way I interact with others and is helping me get the most out of this internship.”

Anna said that seeing Aria flourishing is fulfilling for her, too. “Becoming a mentor helped me think a little differently. I reflect back on my studies, but also get a valuable perspective on what students are coming out of school with today. It informs my hiring process and helps me recognize teaching moments in day-to-day work with my team,” she said.

Aria has gotten so much out of this mentorship—from better understanding of the technical side of food science and the chemical and microbiological aspects important in product development, to how to approach negotiating a salary. “I have learned to appreciate my worth, assert myself when needed and communicate professionally,” she said. Anna appreciates the chance to help with having those conversations that she had to navigate on her own as a young woman.

Both Anna and Aria have enjoyed being paired with others through the Mentor Program, but their special bond has and will endure. Aria sums it up, “This experience has shown me the power of mentorship. I was inspired to become a UGA Mentor Program Ambassador and actively encourage other students to participate in the program.”

Now is the perfect time to sign up to become a mentor. There is a student coming in the fall who can benefit from your experience.

On the fence?

Get the info you need to make an informed decision and learn about support the program offers mentors at UGA Mentor Program 101, a free webinar on Aug. 3 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. You will hear from successful mentor/mentee pairings, learn best practices for forming a strong connection and discover tips to become an effective mentor.