ECE Faculty-Undergraduate Mentoring Program
Things to Consider Discussing with Your Mentor
There is a wide range of issues you may discuss with your mentor. However, your mentor is not expected to provide advising on registration procedures or University policies. With that said, the exact nature of your mentoring sessions will be left to your discretion.
Some issues, concerns, and questions are of a general nature or applicability and might well be relevant regardless of your class standing. However, some matters are of particular concern or urgency for specific groups of students. For example, if you are a first semester freshman, a very important issue is how to get involved in the social and intellectual life of the University, College, and Department as quickly as possible.
The material below is presented topically. Broad areas of concern are identified and example questions are offered for your consideration. Particularly important issues and resources are identified for each area.
General Issues and Topics to Discuss
- The Mentoring Process
- Find out what mentoring is and the specifics of the ECE process.
- Find out what your mentor's expectations are of you and what you can expect of them.
- Discuss what you would like to get out the mentoring relationship.
Plan of Study
- How to make continuous improvements in your academic performance.
- Discuss courses relevant for the various subdisciplines within ECE.
- Explore ways to enhance your academic experience outside the class.
- If you have a draft of your next semester's schedule or graduation plan you may discuss this with your mentor, though the final approval for these is always done through the ECE Undergraduate Office.
Co-ops & Internships
- Explore your career options with your mentor and what you can expect once you graduate. The further into your studies, the clearer you want to be about this.
- Discuss the different types of jobs, both non-engineering and engineering, available to ECE graduates.
- Discuss co-op and internship experiences and why these are more important than research experience for students planning on careers in industry.
- Discuss the value of getting involved in student organizations such as IEEE; the Robotics Club; and, if they are invited, Eta Kappa Nu.
- There are many other University student organizations that provide a great support network for students. Ask your mentor which ones might provide the best fit for an ECE student.
- Discuss the general nature of research and how it differs from regular lecture classes.
- Ask your mentor about their research activities and what they find so fascinating about research.
- If you want to get involved, ask them how to go about it.
- If you are interested in graduate school, let your mentor know this as soon as possible.
- Find out from your mentor what GPA and other academic requirements graduate schools are looking for.
- Find out what type of extracurricular activities will enhance your graduate school application.
- Discuss with them the importance of research experience for a successful application.
- Strategize with your mentor on how to secure the best possible set of recommendation letters for graduate school.
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