Mentor Match enables alumni to support current students
More than 1,200 alumni have taken part in program
Where should I go to law school? What should I specialize in? Carisa McKillop ’20 needed help as she sorted through these big questions. She took the advice students often receive from the University’s career staff: Reach out to the alumni network.
“I gained so much support from my mentors,” says McKillop, who was a legal writing intern last summer and will attend law school next fall. “I learned about additional LSAT prep courses, what different law schools had to offer and internship opportunities. Because of my mentors, I will be more prepared for my law school journey.”
It’s not easy for students to obtain support like this because alumni are scattered around the world and busy with their careers. McKillop took advantage of Mentor Match, a platform offered by the Alumni Association and the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development. Mentor Match is open to all Binghamton students and connects them to alumni mentors in a variety of fields.
Communication happens online within the platform, so alumni can participate from anywhere at a time they find convenient. Phone calls or in-person meet-ups are possible if the mentee and mentor mutually agree.
Mentor Match started as a pilot for Harpur Edge, an academic and professional development program offered in Harpur College. After subsequent trial runs for the School of Management and Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science students, Mentor Match expanded University-wide Mentor Match enables alumni to support current students last spring, and has more than 600 students and 1,200 alumni participating.
McKillop connected with Elizabeth Robins ’12, associate counsel for the New York State Senate Majority Counsel and Program. Robins got involved with Mentor Match because she remembers what it was like going from campus — where she felt a strong sense of belonging — to an uncertain real world. She shared with McKillop that law school is a learning curve for everyone — no one should be expected to know legal writing or case law going in — and to embrace it as a time of discovery.
“I was happy to get involved because our students are trying to cope with all the uncertainty I had to deal with, but we’re in a global pandemic where nothing is normal,” Robins says. “Other alumni should take time to lend a helping hand. Current students should know that uncertainty is OK, and we all have faith they’re going to make it!”
Want to help a current student? Join Mentor Match at binghamton.edu/programs/mentor-match