My mentor has been so incredibly helpful. Prior to meeting with her, I was all over the place and overwhelmed by career options. She has helped me narrow down options that suit my interests and skills and is providing me with excellent resources to prepare myself for the industry. UVA Student Virginia Alumni Mentoring 2014

Mentoring is a structured, one-to-one relationship or partnership that focuses on the needs of mentored participants by:

  • Fostering caring and supportive relationships.
  • Encouraging individuals to develop to their fullest potential.
  • Helping an individual to develop his or her own vision for the future.

National Mentoring Partnership (

A Mentor is...

A mentor is a mix of coach, leader, advisor, counselor, teacher, guide, and friend. A mentor provides a mentee with a taste of the real world in the career he/she is pursuing and the knowledge of what it takes to get there. The more experienced mentor draws upon his/her knowledge, skill set, and perspective to provide guidance and feedback while facilitating the professional development of a less experienced mentee. A mentee takes an active role and responsibility for his/her own learning while a mentor asks thought-provoking questions that help a student gain insights for making informed career decisions and taking appropriate steps.


  • Gain in-depth knowledge about a specific industry or career field
  • Develop skills and confidence in cross-generational communication
  • Expand range of career prospects and strategies
  • Receive feedback on job and internship materials and personal brand
  • Build confidence and motivation to achieve goals
  • Learn how to navigate challenges and move forward professionally
  • Have regular opportunities to discuss career issues in a safe environment
  • Gain an appreciation for mentoring as a professional development tool

Virginia Alumni Mentoring (VAM)

Effective April 1st, 2017, VAM will begin a technology transition to a new and improved platform. At this time, VAM will move to a temporary "off-line" functionality, and will scontinue to connect students and alumni during this technology transition through the UVA Career Center.  Have questions or want to gain additional perspective from other alumni in your field of interest?  Connect with the VAM team at

VAM is a program that connects motivated and career-focused students with alumni who have volunteered to provide insights about the process of choosing and starting a career in their specific field.

The program provides students and their alumni mentors a structured means of initiating a professional relationship to discuss career interests and topics of professional preparation: together, they develop goals for their regular meetings, during which the alumni mentors offer insights about their own undergraduate experiences, career progression and current work which supports mentees in navigating their own chosen career paths.

VAM is a partnership among the College of Arts & Sciences, the UVA Career Center and the UVA Alumni Association. Piloted in 2013 by the College Foundation, it has been expanded through support and funding from UVA Career Center, the Alumni Association, the Provost's office, the Dean of Arts & Sciences, and the College Council.