Mentoring Opportunities for Alumni

Alumni Mentoring Program

Helping students explore professional opportunities in engineering is one of the core goals of the annual SEAS Alumni Mentoring program. The program pairs alumni mentors with first-year undergraduate engineering students for one year. Each one-to-one mentor/student pair typically communicates throughout the year via email and phone, and when possible, the pair meets in person. The program ends in the fall of the student's sophomore year.

What's Involved?
Becoming a mentor is a great experience for alumni and an invaluable opportunity for our students. The relationship allows alumni to remain engaged with SEAS and to pass on details of their experience at Penn and in the workplace to a curious student. Examples of informal and formal activities to build the mentor-student relationship throughout the year have included:

  • Lunch/Dinner/Coffee meetings
  • Touring the mentor's company
  • Spending a day shadowing the mentor
  • Attending professional/business meetings  
  • Communicating via email or phone

What's Expected?
The student is expected to initiate and maintain contact with the mentor following the match process. Each mentor and mentee should plan to meet at least twice during the program.  In addition, contact should occur via phone or e-mail at least once every 2-3 months. At the end of the year, both participants are asked to complete and return an assessment of their experience in participating in the program to the Career Services Office.

Volunteer as a Mentor:
The Penn Engineering Mentoring Program is coordinated through Career Services. To be paired with a student, register at any time during the year. With questions, please email program administrator Jamie Grant, Associate Director of Career Services.

Alumni Externship Program

Take a student to work with you to provide exposure to your profession! The Engineering Alumni Society Board and Penn's Career Services sponsor the SEAS Alumni Externship Program for sophomores, who will benefit from shadowing you and seeing what it's actually like to work in your career field.

Externship Overview
"Externships" provide job-shadowing opportunities to help students discern how their skills and interests align with professional positions in their career fields of interest. Experiencing a work environment first-hand by participating in a "day in the life" of an alumni sponsor can provide a student with exposure to an industry, insightful conversation, invaluable advice, and an inside perspective.

Externship Specifics
Externships take place during early January (winter break) and in May (after the spring semester ends). Students are invited to apply, and Career Services reviews applications and matches the students based on their career fields of interest. (Sophomores receive priority.) Externship hosts have the flexibility to design a meaningful experience for the students that fits the host's schedule and is appropriate for one's company. Alumni may host one or more undergraduate SEAS students.

Externship Activities
Engineering externships take place during early January (winter break) and in May (after the spring semester ends). Possible externship activities include:

  • Shadowing one or more professionals for a full day
  • Conducting informational interviews with professionals in a range of departments and levels
  • Participating in daily operations that provide hands-on exposure to the career field/industry
  • Completing a relevant project if the externship is long enough to accommodate it
  • Attending meetings and presentations
  • Touring the work site

To Sign Up as a Host
Penn's Career Services coordinates the Engineering Externship Program. If you would like to be an externship host, please register online. Contact Tiffany Franklin, Associate Director of Career Services, at ftiffany@upenn.edu or (215) 898-3012 if you have any questions. This program is sponsored by the Engineering Alumni Society Board and Career Services.