During the weeks dedicated to campaigning for 2020-2021 Student Association (SA) positions back in the beginning of February, SA presidential candidate Sheryl Kambuni proposed that if elected she would strive to start a mentorship program for students by partnering with Alumni Relations. After winning the SA presidential election, she said that she still plans to put that proposal into motion.
Kambuni said her desire for the mentorship program surfaced after she heard of the RoundTable sessions that the School of Visual Art and Design (SVAD) and the School of Journalism and Communication (SJC) conduct to connect students with alumni of those departments. According to Kambuni, one of her friends Michaela Lewin informed her of RoundTable sessions. Lewin explained to her that one of the main purposes for RoundTable is to give students a space to build relationships and discover job opportunities after graduation.
“Michaela told me about RoundTable, and I thought that it was a great idea for seniors because it gives them a chance to connect and make connections for when they graduate,” Kambuni said. “So I wanted to get that idea from the SJC and find a way to get each department to implement that concept, too.”
According to Kambuni, she is still in the middle of working out the specifics of how to encourage other departments to host sessions that mirror the RoundTable concept. She said that she is looking at working with Alumni Relations to pursue a mentorship program.
“If we can start either a mentorship program with them or a way for [departments] to hold workshops during our Alumni Weekend, then alumni can come in and give workshops, talks and connect with a student to become their mentor for the school year,” Kambuni said.
While Kambuni said she, herself, has not attended a RoundTable session, she has friends who have. And she has seen how much they have benefited from them.
“I’ve seen how they’ve benefited from connecting with a mentor, someone who’s in their same field, and going out to have lunch together and just talk,” Kambuni said. “Especially during this time with COVID, I’ve seen how mentors have helped share different connections for jobs and things like that with their mentees.”