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Mentornet Provides Success and Service

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Credit: MentorNet

Michigan Technological University's (MTU's) MentorNet program matches students and new educators with mentors in either educational or professional positions to help graduate students, postdoctorates, and untenured professors (proteges) achieve academic and professional success through exposure to the world of work. MentorNet connects mentors and proteges for about 20 minutes a week for eight months, based on background or career interest. Proteges and mentors talk about school, internships, the job market, and running a business, among other topics.

"I decided to become involved because I didn't have a mentor when I was going through school," says Derek Curtis, who came to MentorNet through ACM and is a mentor to Darius Watt, a fourth-year operations and systems management student. "It would have been great to have someone with whom I could have discussed career choices and options to help me make better informed decisions."

MentorNet program manager Susan Liebau says that since launching MentorNet on MTU's campus in 1999, 360 students have used the service. Liebau likes to pair proteges with MTU alumni.

MentorNet was originally intended to reach out to women and minorities in engineering, but the program has expanded to involve more people in more disciplines, though a focus on women is still present. "I am committed to seeing that the next generation of women has an easier time in the academic community, and MentorNet helps a lot," says University of Texas at El Paso professor Diane Doser, who graduated from MTU in 1978.

From Michigan Tech News
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