Mentorship program creates valuable connections

Fourth-year architecture student Jeniffer Milburn and her mentor, William Crompton, vice-president and partner at David S McRobie Architects Inc., have found Carleton’s Alumni Mentors program to be beneficial for both mentors and mentees. (Chris Roussakis Photo)

Carleton students Jeniffer Milburn, Craig Lord, and Nelly Duarte may be on different career paths – but their futures all look bright, thanks to invaluable guidance they have received from their mentors as part of Carleton’s Alumni Mentors program.

“Mentors are serving a very real need and students are building a connection with someone else who they wouldn’t otherwise engage with,” says Yvonne Langen, the program’s co-ordinator.

Launched last fall, it pairs upper-year students and recent graduates with alumni mentors.

Mentors help mentees develop practical skills such as resume writing, and offer advice on potential career paths and networking.

Langen recently collected survey results completed by the program’s participants, and says the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

The survey indicated that 96 per cent of mentees were satisfied with the program, as well as 95 per cent of mentors. Additionally, the survey found that 82 per cent of mentees felt their mentor had helped advance their learning and development goals.

Langen also says interest in the program was higher than expected – initially, they hoped to recruit 100 mentors and now have 125. She adds the program also attracted 250 applications from potential mentees.

Jeniffer Milburn, a fourth-year architecture student, was paired with her mentor, William Crompton, vice-president and partner at David S. McRobie Architects Inc.

Milburn says her mentor, who was a graduate of Carleton University’s architecture program in 1977, has been great to work with and, she was proud to recently tell him that she was offered a job in her field.

“Having William as a mentor has been so good for me,” she says. “It’s great to meet someone who has gone through what you’re going through right now, and still loves what they’re doing.”

Crompton says he is thrilled with Milburn’s success and has had a wonderful time being a mentor.

“I enjoy working with young fresh minds and I am having a ball doing this,” he says. “It’s an opportunity to talk to someone who has fresh ideas and enthusiasm. It’s very uplifting.”

Michael Curran, publisher of the Ottawa Business Journal, majored in journalism and political science and graduated from Carleton in 1992.

He says he wanted to be a mentor to give back to the university.

“I have gratitude to the school for helping to launch my career and I’m always eager to help the journalism school or university in a larger sense,” Curran says.

His mentee, Craig Lord, is a third-year journalism student who says Curran’s guidance and advice have been invaluable.

“He is helping me professionally to no end,” says Lord. “Now I have business cards and I know how to present myself. (Being involved in this program) was the best decision I ever made.”

Nelly Duarte, a third-year criminology and criminal justice student, says her mentor has taught her about the importance of passion for your work and has helped motivate her.

Her mentor, Sue O’Sullivan, is the federal ombudsman for victims of crime. O’Sullivan studied criminology and corrections and graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in law and sociology.

“I had so many opportunities to learn from so many amazing leaders,” O’Sullivan says. “They encouraged me to learn from different perspectives, be a lifelong learner, and understand the importance of giving back. Mentorship is such an important thing.”

Duarte says O’Sullivan continues to inspire her and that the program has a positive impact on mentees.

“It’s definitely beneficial for anybody,” she says. “I always leave (meetings with her) feeling motivated, and I hope that’s how all mentees feel.”

For more information on the Alumni Mentors program, visit:


This entry was written by Kristy Strauss and posted in the issue. Bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

Kristy Strauss

By Kristy Strauss

Kristy Strauss graduated from Carleton's journalism program in 2009. She is a regular contributor to Carleton Now. She has worked as a reporter for the Kemptville Advance. She currently reports for EMC Ottawa South.

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