The Department of Political Science’s Mentorship Program matches current junior or senior Political Science majors with NIU alumni and friends of the department. The program is designed to provide students with valuable professional development advice and opportunities by tapping into our pool of talented and successful friends of the Department of Political Science. Many of the mentors are alumni of our undergraduate or graduate programs. Students will receive advice on resume building, interview techniques, and developing professional behavior. Students will also profit from gaining industry knowledge in a field related to their major. Many of the students will have the opportunity to network and participate in job shadowing experiences.
The Mentorship Program runs through the fall semester, although we hope that the mentor/mentee relationship will last longer. Mentors and mentees are matched in late September or early October each academic year. The department will host a reception to kick off the yearly mentorship program in order to help facilitate introductions. The aim of the program is to have mentors and mentees meet at least a couple of times after the reception to cement a professional relationship. In person meetings are preferable, but video conferencing is also welcome when geography makes face-to-face contact.
Mentors and mentees will be asked to complete evaluation forms at the end of the program.
The mentor is expected to meet with the student a minimum of four times over the course of the academic year. Ideally, the mentor will serve as an informal source of advice and develop a relationship with the student even after the formal program ends. Mentors should provide students with background on their particular industry or field and professional development. If possible, mentors should provide the student with networking or shadowing opportunities.
The mentor’s time is valuable and students are expected to be punctual and professional. Students will be required to schedule the initial meeting and proactively reach out to their mentors throughout the year. Students should be prepared to explain to the mentor what they hope to gain from the mentoring program and outline their career aspirations. Additionally, students should come prepared to each meeting with a set of questions that they would like the mentor to answer.