UMGC Mentors Give Students an Edge with Their Career-Shaping Wisdom

Mentoring can have a powerful impact on a student’s career development. In honor of National Mentoring Month in January, we’re sharing stories from our students about how this life-changing relationship is helping them shape—and achieve—their professional goals.

 “At UMGC, we have seen the power of mentoring firsthand. We’re fortunate to have a network of accomplished alumni who share their expertise with students through our career mentor program, Community Connect.” says Francine Blume, Assistant Vice President, Career Development, UMGC. “We believe that when students and alumni tap into the power of the UMGC community, they can accomplish anything, and we’re proud to facilitate those important connections.”

Here’s what some students had to say about their experience with UMGC’s Career Connect program: 

Pamela Alston  

Academic Area: Liberal Arts & Communications Undergraduate 

Why did you decide to seek the advice of a mentor?  

I decided to seek the advice of a mentor for two reasons: initially, as requirement for my PACE course, and additionally, as an aspiring entrepreneur and wanting matriculation in my career path, I decided to select a mentor that aligned with my goals, so I chose Veronica Purvis.  

How is your mentor relationship helping you reach your career goals?  

Veronica gave me practical advice and strong encouragement for my business and professional goals. She listened intently and we had a great connection. We plan to meet again in early 2022.  

Oladiji David Akintan  

Academic Area: Cybersecurity 

Why did you decide to seek the advice of a mentor? 

Since I began my professional career overseas, I know that technology is the same globally. I already have a background in Information Technology, and I have had many titles to my name with several success stories.  

Nevertheless, I know that to continue my professional career in a different environment, I need a form of guidance. I needed to understand the terrain, culture and how things are done in the IT professional world here in the United States. This is the reason I joined the UMGC career and mentorship program.  

How is your mentor relationship helping you reach your career goals? 

My mentor’s advice straightened me up and gave clarity to the path I chose in Cyber Security. His words echoed in my heart and head continuously. With his help, I was able to develop milestones and affix completion dates to each of them.  

Fabienne Eba 

Academic Area: Liberal Arts & Communications Undergraduate 

Why did you decide to seek the advice of a mentor? 

I decided to seek the advice of a mentor because I understand the need to identify with people who have overcome challenges and their obstacles to reach their goals and become [their] better self.  

I am a French-speaking African woman residing in Africa taking classes online at an American school. I come from a background where my siblings and my parents have not studied abroad to achieve a higher degree at a well-established American institution. Finally, another challenge I face is my dad facing a long-term illness. All of it represents challenges on their own, which are very strong indicators to me that I must seek the advice of a mentor. 

How is your mentor relationship helping you reach your career goals? 

I just began my search for a mentor in the Community Connect program. I look forward to starting this process once I identify the right mentor to help me achieve my career goals.  

Interested in finding a mentor through UMGC’s Career Connect program? 

If you’re looking for a mentor to help you reach your career aspirations, visit careerquest.umgc.edu to learn more about UMGC Career Services and to register to participate in the Community Connect program.