GOLD-en opportunity: New mentoring program connects CEE students with professionals, alumni

Friday, October 13, 2017
Skanska’s Jimmy Mitchell talks with a student at the School’s 2017 Career Expo. Mitchell, a 2005 civil engineering grad, has long been involved in mentoring Tech students. The School has launched a new program to involve more alumni in these kinds of relationships and is recruiting professionals and students. (Photo: Jess Hunt-Ralston)
Skanska’s Jimmy Mitchell talks with a student at the School’s 2017 Career Expo. Mitchell, a 2005 civil engineering grad, has long been involved in mentoring Tech students. The School has launched a new program to involve more alumni in these kinds of relationships and is recruiting professionals and students. (Photo: Jess Hunt-Ralston)
 

The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is rolling out a new mentoring program this fall to connect students with alumni and engineering professionals who want to help them prepare for their post-college lives.

Created at the urging of the School’s alumni, the GOLD Mentoring Program — Growing Opportunities for Learning and Discovery — will hand-select mentors for interested students, including students who are traveling or studying abroad.

“One of the greatest values of mentoring is sharing life experiences, and I know our alumni have good stories to tell,” said Mariah Austin, corporate relations manager and the program’s coordinator. “The ‘Georgia Tech connection’ is real — and this program is one that can help establish it for our students.”

“The ‘Georgia Tech connection’ is real — and this program is one that can help establish it for our students.”

– Mariah Austin, corporate relations manager in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Mentoring relationships could last for a semester or for years, Austin said. The depth of the connection will depend on the interests of the student and their professional mentor.

“Students will build new skills, learn about growth and development opportunities in the workforce, and have quality interactions with someone who has been in their shoes and can offer them insight,” she said.

The program also will link students traveling abroad with professionals in their destination country. That way, the students can expand their international experiences, according to Adjo Amekudzi-Kennedy, the School’s associate chair for global engineering leadership and research development.

“Last year, more than 80 students interned, studied or conducted research abroad through our global engineering leadership minor, the Mundy fund, and study abroad programs. The GOLD program offers a great opportunity to connect our students with our alumni at home and abroad, helping to create richer experiences for them,” Amekudzi-Kennedy said. “We also expand [the School’s] engagement with our alumni, and we providing our alumni with opportunities to mentor and recruit our students. It’s a win-win-win.”

Applications for students and mentors are now open. The first batch of mentor-mentee matches will be paired in the coming weeks and introduced to each other in November.