Career Mentoring Program
By Kristina Keenan ('08) / Created 2011-04-01
Last fall, AUP’s Office of Alumni Affairs, with the support of the Careers Office, launched its first ever Alumni to Student Career Mentoring Program. We have had 40 incredible alumni volunteers serve as professional mentors to students in their undergraduate senior year or final year of their Master’s program. Through emails, phone calls, and face-to-face meetings, students have received practical advice regarding CV writing, job searching, the application and interview processes, and generally how to prepare themselves for the workforce or further studies.
We would like to highlight one of our alumni-student pairs who have reported back to us about how the new program has been going for them. Sarah Zipkin graduated from AUP in 2000 with a BA in Art History and is now a Regional Advisor at Oxfam American in Boston, Massachusetts. We paired Sarah with current student Aimee Winnik who will be finishing her BA in International and Comparative Politics at the end of May.
Sarah Zipkin ('00) Oxfam America
“After almost 11 years since graduation, there have been few opportunities to reconnect across the Atlantic (not that AUP hasn’t tried!). This past year, however, I was inspired by a new career mentoring program that links alumni to students over the course of the academic year. Volunteering for this program has been an incredible way to engage with the university and an opportunity to give back. Talking with Aimee every month reminds me of what it was like to be in her shoes during my senior year -- faced with opportunities and anxiety but also relief to be turning a page and making a huge step forward. Our virtual discussions range from the current trends in sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, her coursework, to graduate school applications and internships. Over the years I have realized how essential it is to have mentors, no matter where you are personally or professionally. Aimee is just as much a mentor for me as I am for her and I could not be more grateful. I encourage alumni and students to get involved in the future; you will not be disappointed.” Sarah A. Zipkin (’00) Oxfam America
Aimee Winnik ('11)
“At the beginning of my senior year I was full of excitement to take on my last year as an undergraduate and receive my diploma. However, when the optimistic enthusiasm was exposed to the harsh reality of what that actually means—going into the unbeknownst realm of the ‘Real World’—my ambitious future plans seemed unattainable. I was in need of something, someone to help me through the journey of making some extremely difficult decisions. It was during this time that my attention was drawn to a new Mentor-Mentee pilot program beginning this year exclusively for AUP seniors and graduate students, which offered precisely what I was in need of and more: direction from someone who has been in the same exact situation. Throughout the year, Sarah has been a great resource to bounce ideas off of, discuss current political and economic issues related to my courses, receive encouragement when I felt lost and unsure, and—most importantly—a constant presence of reassurance that everything I am going through is normal. I have been so enriched by my mentor-mentee relationship with Sarah in uncountable ways, and I am entirely indebted to the fantastic work of the AUP Alumni Affairs Office for matching the two of us together. It is through this program that I was able to be offered an internship of a lifetime with Sarah’s company, Oxfam; an organization I could only dream about working for in the past, and now it is part of my immediate future. This program has opened my eyes to a world where anything is truly possible.” Aimee Winnik (’11) Major: International and Comparative Politics
A special thanks goes out to all alumni and students who participated in AUP's first career mentoring program. The Alumni Office will be communicating with you soon about our upcoming 2011-2012 program. If you are interested in being part of the mentor program, please contact us.
Kristina Keenan ('08) is an Alumni Affairs and Development Coordinator at AUP.