Mentoring Program

Patricia Hurley

Our Goal

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s (CEE) new mentoring program connects students to peers and engineering professionals to exchange ideas and build a connected professional community. The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the need for more engagement and opportunities to build strong relationships, which is why CEE launched this program in 2020. The program will support a more connected community of engineers who positively impact society by sharing their ideas and expertise with one another, and offer helping hand to the next generation of #Hengineers.

How it Works

New civil and environmental engineering students (first-year majors or transfer students) will be paired with returning upperclassmen in their same area of study. In Spring 2022, undergraduate CEE students will have a chance to connect with a civil and environmental engineering industry professional volunteering as a mentor. (Email sbpalmer@udel.edu if you are interested in participating as a mentee or mentor!) The program is voluntary for all involved.

Why Mentoring Works

Mentoring programs help people make connections, share experiences, and navigate uncharted territory with someone who has already taken the journey. Being an engineering major comes with its own unique set of challenges on top of the need to build relationships, trust peers and work in teams within this community of scholars. Feelings of isolation, estrangement, doubt, uncertainty and fear are not uncommon for college students. Mentors can offer students, whether they’re struggling or not, an open opportunity to ask questions and seek guidance during unfamiliar times or when they need help reconnecting with a community of peers.

Objectives: Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Mentoring

  • To provide support with navigating the undergraduate experience as an engineering major
  • To build a network of engineering students

Objectives: Student-to-Industry Professional (S2I) Mentoring, effective Spring 2022

  • To assist with translating what students are learning now and its applicability to industry
  • To offer insight on the career transition and explore various perspectives on topics like evaluating job offers, navigating the workplace, and work-life balance

What do mentors and mentees do?

Mentoring is a two-way exchange, and relies on participation of both parties to succeed. Mentoring program participants are expected to attend events, respond to emails about planned activities, communicate effectively with a mentee or mentor, actively listen and show mutual respect. One-on-one virtual or in-person meetings will allow participants to build relationships and ask for advice based on their specific needs or situations.

Events

Each semester, there will be 2-3 planned events for which we expect the P2P participants in the Mentoring Program to attend. Save the dates for the following upcoming events for the Fall 2021 semester:

  • Friday, November 5th: Allan Myers worksite visit, 3pm
  • Friday, December 3rd: Alumni Presentation by Susan Best

FAQs about the Student-to-Industry (S2I) Mentoring Program (Spring 2022)

How much time should I devote to meeting with my mentor/mentee?

Mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet in-person, via zoom, or talk by phone at least once a month. The key is to establish a communication strategy that works for both the mentor and mentee.

What if I cannot reach my mentor/mentee?

Life happens but establishing mutual respect by respond in a timely fashion is strongly recommended. Even acknowledging receipt of a message by replying with a timeframe of when you will respond is one way to effectively communicate.

Can I swap mentors/mentees?

We encourage participants to commit to the process and find common ground.

What are some qualities of an effective mentoring relationship?
  1. Trust is established.
  2. Both listen attentively, provide advice and constructive feedback when asked.
  3. Expectations and strategies to achieve goals are discussed.
  4. Devote time and commit to the process.

Interested in Joining?

Contact Sarah Palmer sbpalmer@udel.edu if you are interested in participating as a mentee or mentor!