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 (

Virginia Alumni Mentoring (VAM)

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. 

VAM offers two options for students and alumni to engage. Semester-long mentoring provides students with consistent 1:1 coaching and support from a VAM mentor to reach career exploration and/or job search preparation goals (12-week time period).  Flash-mentoring allows students the ability to engage in one-time chats with multiple alumni for informational interviewing about an industry, functional role, major selection, graduate school perspective and more.  Both options often develop into longer-term connections for students and their alumni mentors. 

VAM is a virtual program and provides students and their alumni mentors a structured means of initiating and maintaining a professional relationship to discuss career interests and topics of professional preparation.  Together, students and alumni mentors develop goals for their regular sessions.  Alumni mentors provide invaluable insights about their own undergraduate experiences, career progression and current work which supports students in navigating their career exploration and goals for their intended 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.

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

We look forward to your involvement in the Virginia Alumni Mentoring Program.