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York University
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This Year’s Glendon Alumni Mentorship Program Off to a Promising Start

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Glendon’s Associate Principal (Student Services) Rosanna Furgiuele hosted a festive dinner on November 10th as a formal start to this year’s Glendon Alumni Mentorship Program.

In existence since 2005, the program matches Glendon graduates, who have been practicing their career for at least three years, with current students – predominantly in their third or final year of studies – who are interested in pursuing a career in similar fields.

Partners are carefully matched by the Office of the Associate Principal (Student Services). The program is defined through a very detailed set of documents, distributed to participants, outlining each partner’s role, the commitment being made on both sides, how a first meeting should be approached and potential topics for discussion. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet at least once a month. Mentees are expected to approach these meetings well-prepared, with questions and topics they would like to address.


At the festive dinner

Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts welcomed the participants and expressed his appreciation of the existence of such a program. “When I went to university, we believed that you could not trust anyone over thirty”, said McRoberts. “Today, I understand the wisdom that can be acquired through experience. But in fact, without realizing it, all of us have mentors at various times in our lives, whether they are professors, thesis supervisors, members of the staff or of our families, and all of them have helped us make choices for our future.”

McRoberts thanked the alumni participants and acknowledged that Glendon graduates as a whole identify strongly with this institution and are committed to give back. He also congratulated the participating students for having the wisdom to want to learn from older people with experience.

Jeffrey Ball, Manager of Alumni Support and Campus Partnerships at York’s Alumni and Advancement Services was present at the dinner, which was made possible by that Service’s financial support. He conveyed a warm welcome from the York Alumni Office and confirmed its continued support to this worthwhile program. “Our office’s purpose is to maintain close contact with our alumni”, said Ball, “and to help improve and enhance the student experience. Successful students become devoted alumni who want to give back to the university.”

Left: Participants in the Mentorship Program, Associate Principal Rosanna Furgiuele at front right

Furgiuele expressed the wish that such programs would have been available when she was a student. “Alumni working with students can be catalysts for the job market by giving advice, presenting the realities of the world of work and providing real experience to students”, said Furgiuele. “Mentors may help mentees recognize some of their hidden talents and special skills, and prepare them for the job search. They can also identify marketable skills and networking opportunities.”

Ken Gingerich, one of the original mentors who has participated in the program for the entire five years that it has been in existence, expressed his enthusiasm for its continuation. “My mentees and I have worked on networking and interviewing skills. But it has been much more than that: we have developed ongoing relationships which extended beyond the school year. I have maintained contact with several of my mentees and it has been a satisfying and fruitful experience for both sides.”

Participants in the Glendon Alumni Mentorship program make a commitment for one school year. There will be reporting at the conclusion, as well as a closing dinner where people can exchange experiences and reconnect with others in the program.

Article submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny

Published on November 12, 2009