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The Basics

How long does the program last?

Heinz Mentor Program usually lasts for one academic year. You may choose to sign up at anytime during the academic year, but the program ends in May by default.

Are there any restrictions to how many mentor/mentees that I can have?

To ensure the quality of each match, we only support one-on-one mentor-mentee relationships: each participating mentee/mentor can only be connected to one mentor/mentee at a time.

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Can I sign up to be a mentee?

All Heinz students are eligible for participating as mentees. As per our program policy, first-year students are matched with second-year peer mentors; second-year students are matched with alumni mentors.

Do you have any suggestions to help make my mentorship less formal?

It is always safer to begin a mentorship assuming professional, formal decorum. In the first meeting itself, set up expectations for the frequency of communication. An important way to make the mentorship stronger, is to keep a two way conversation going. Do not only reach out to your mentor when you need something, but think about how you can involve them. For example, tell them about upcoming events at Heinz or ask about their interests and look for interesting articles. Friendships that grow out of mentorships are wonderful, but it is important to not be too invasive or assume informality early on.

My mentor helped me with my resume and interviews, now what do I talk to them about?

A mentor is an invaluable resource for a wealth of knowledge beyond just the job search. Not only have they been to Heinz College, but they have made it out successfully! Ask for their feedback on classes, clubs, or things to do in Pittsburgh. Give them updates on your own experiences, or on how things are changing at Heinz. Find out about their interests, and reach out to them if you come across something that they may be interested in. Did you hear back from a company about an internship or job offer? Tell your mentor about how their advice helped you or just to share the good news.

How do I make a distance mentorship more fruitful? How do I increase communication?

It can be difficult to keep conversations going when you are speaking with a long-distance mentor. During your early conversations - try and set up a frequency of communication that is reasonable for both you and your mentor. Try Skype instead of a phone call, sometimes seeing each other can help keep a flow of conversation going. Prepare a list of topics you want to talk about, and feel free to include more than just questions about their professional work. Send your mentor updates about upcoming receptions in other cities, and make sure to let them know if you will ever be visiting their city so you can meet them. Keep them looped in to your travel plans in case you both overlap in the same place!

What is the relationship like after the match has been officially closed out?

It depends from match to match. Although we discontinue all formal support of the match after one year, we do encourage participants to continue their relationship afterwards. We’ve heard of mentors/mentees continue to be very influential in each other’s lives. However, if it does not naturally pan out to a solidified relationship, that’s ok. We just hope that your experience with the program has provided you with some insight into what a mentorship means and how it can be extremely beneficial as you lay out your future decisions.

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Can I sign up to be a mentor?

Second-year students and Heinz alumni are eligible for participating as peer or alumni mentors. As per our program policy, first-year students are matched with second-year peer mentors; second-year students are matched with alumni mentors.

I've signed up as a mentor, why haven't I been requested yet?

We are grateful for your willingness to help students in this way. After you register to the Heinz Mentor Program, it could take some time before you are matched with a student, since this is a student-driven program. If you are a young alumnus, you are able to search for and contact other mentors through this program. Connections can be made through shared personal or professional interests.