The Career Center, in partnership with the Office of Alumni Affairs, is thrilled to announce the launch of its new Yeshiva University Mentoring Volunteer Program, or YU-MVP. This algorithm-based “matching for mentoring” platform will pull from over 25,000 alumni around the globe to create a network of volunteer mentors dedicated to offering undergraduate students professional career guidance.
YU News sat down with Susan Bauer, executive director of YU’s Career Center and principal designer of the program, to discuss this new initiative.
How can alumni and others get involved?
The program is open to our alumni and all professionals who want to mentor our students. Interested mentors can join by visiting yu.edu/mvp and sign up using their email address or LinkedIn profile.
Can a non-YU alum join the YU-MVP program?
Absolutely. Parents, relatives and all those willing to give back to the next generation of Jewish leaders are welcome to become part of the network. It is a multidisciplinary platform, so professionals of all backgrounds are encouraged to mentor. We strongly encourage those living outside the New York City area to join as well as any students seeking mentorship from those they do not already know in their communities.
How will the matching process work?
YU-MVP works by matching preferences. Volunteer mentors select their geographic area, industry expertise and areas in which they can provide assistance. Students are then recommended to connect with mentors whose preferences most closely align with their own. After the matches are made, the students are then expected to reach out to their recommended mentors who will, in turn, then select the students with whom they wish to work.
Can a mentor work with more than one student?
Yes, each mentor sets his/her own personal parameters based on their availability.
Are there any industries that you would like to recruit mentors from?
It is a multidisciplinary platform open to all students, so professionals from all backgrounds are encouraged to join. We have a greater number of students within certain disciplines than others, so a mentor should not get discouraged if a request for mentorship is not made immediately.
Is this program for graduate students as well?
Currently, it is being rolled out as a platform for undergraduate students. It will expand to the graduate student population in the future.
What would a mentor partnership look like?
The mentor-student partnership can take many forms. Depending upon geographical location, it may be an in-person arrangement or a virtual connection in which résumés are reviewed using FaceTime or informational interviews are conducted via phone or email. The mentor and student can customize the experience that works best for them. For example, during the pilot phase of the program, many mentors opened their offices to students to discuss topics such as Shabbat and Yom Tov work challenges and “Day in The Life” experiences.
What cities will you have mentors in?
The goal is for YU-MVP to have a global presence. We have many international students studying at Yeshiva University and many students interested in relocating after graduation, whether that means making aliyah or moving to another city, state or country.
Anything else you would like to add?
Everyone is welcome to give back to our students, and we appreciate all who get involved. This experience can be life-altering for both mentors and students. Our community is global, connected, generous and mission-driven. I encourage everyone to participate in this exciting initiative.