The McGill Mentor Program is designed to connect McGill students with McGill alumni, allowing them the opportunity to gain valuable experience and advice for career development.
The relationship between mentors and mentees is viewed as a partnership and the length of each Mentor match is approximately 4 months. The Mentor Program is not intended as a job placement service for students, but is offered as a tool for students seeking career path advice from successful and experienced McGill alumni.
History of the Program
The McGill Mentor Program, which traces its roots back to 1995, was founded by the Student Organization for Alumni Relations (SOAR). The program is now managed through a partnership between the McGill Alumni Association (MAA) and the Career Planning Service (CaPS).
For more information about the events, please contact mentor.caps [at] mcgill.ca
More from past issues: mentor magazines
Information for Mentees
- The opportunity to clarify your career goals
- Network with experienced professionals
- Receive valuable advice on professional development
- Exposure to the work place
“My mentorship with my mentor is my second one with CaPS, and it has been a rewarding journey. My mentor and I share a lot of common interests, and his experience in starting his own business is invaluable for me. I will definitely apply to CaPS Mentor program next year!” — Ellery BSc 2017
“The Mentor program provides students the opportunity to develop relationships with mentors who genuinely care about their professional development. The information and experiences my mentor has shared with me have undoubtedly made me more prepared for the professional world.” — Nathaniel BA 2017
“McGill Mentor Program is one of the most valuable experiences I had from McGill. I feel I was lucky enough to get involved in the program before I left McGill and luckier that I was matched up with such a wonderful mentor. My mentor answered all the questions that I had and was kind enough to offer to meet in person to help me to further understand the industry. She always replied my emails on the same day with in-depth insight. I really thank her for her guidance, encouragement and advices and I appreciate this opportunity offered by CaPS. “ — Tingling BASc 2014
Role of the Mentee
The role of the student needs to be proactive. It is imperative that the student:
- Prepares for the mentor match: Attend a CV drop-in session and a CaPS networking workshop. Meet with the Mentor Program Coordinator after submitting your application for Mentor Program training.
- Establishes good communication: Initiate contact with your mentor and clarify to yourself and your mentor where you are in your career and specify what your goals are for the duration of the program.
- Leads an active role: maintain contact with your mentor and be prompt in responding. It is important that you do your own research, develop questions for your mentor, and follow the mentor’s suggested advice.
- Maintains a professional etiquette: Respect the Mentor’s time and contribution to the program, keep their personal information confidential and use proper business etiquette.
- Current McGill students completing undergraduate, graduate or doctorate degree
- School of Continuing Studies students who have opted into CaPS Services
Information for Mentors
- A reinforced sense of belonging to the McGill community
- An opportunity to acquaint yourself with upcoming talent
- Creation of networking opportunities for McGill students
“Being a mentor for the McGill Mentor CaPS program has been extremely rewarding for me as a professional. In my meetings with mentees, I try to understand what they like about science and what their personality is like, to try to help them make ideal career choices. I try to introduce them to other mentors in parallel or complementary fields or to put them in touch with young scientists just starting out so that they can develop and expand their network of contacts. I tell them that often in life and business, it is not what you know but who you know. A healthy network of contacts is essential to making good career choices and for career advancement.” — Katia, PhD (Pharmacology) 1993
“I first decided to join the McGill Mentor Program as I way to get involved as an alumni but the experience by far exceeded my expectations. Having the opportunity to mentor a future graduate in helping them find their career path has been one of the most rewarding experiences since I have started my career. Not only that but it has even allowed me to establish a great connection!” — Micheline BCom 2008
Role of the Mentor
A mentor provides advice, support and offers guidance to their mentees. A mentor should strive to:
- Listen: Listen-actively and patiently to the mentee’s concerns, questions and thoughts.
- Share experiences: Both positive and negative so the mentee can get a realistic view of that particular career path.
- Gives constructive feedback: Share what you noticed about the mentee’s comments, offer advice and challenge your mentee to make decisions so they may become an independent problem solver.
- McGill alumni who completed their undergraduate, graduate or doctoral studies at McGill University
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the mentors?
Mentors are McGill Alumni of all ages and career fields with one thing in common: a willingness to provide advice and share their experiences with McGill students.
What kinds of information can a mentor provide?
Your mentor can provide you with personal insights, knowledge, and know-how concerning their industry, past career related experiences, interviewing, résumés and job hunting. The possibilities are endless!
How do I apply?
Browse the “List of Available Mentors” under the "Join Now" tab and choose two mentors (a first and second choice). Then, click on “Online Application” and fill out the required information, including the James ID number of your chosen mentors. The Mentor Program Coordinator will contact you shortly to come and pick up your mentor’s contact information, as well as to provide you with information about corresponding with your mentor. If you do not see a mentor that is of interest to you, you may still apply and will be matched once a new mentor in your industry is available. Mentors in certain industries may be more difficult to find than others, and we will make every effort to match all students.
As a School of Continuing Studies Student, may I apply for a McGill Mentor?
In order to apply for a Mentor, you must be eligible to use CaPS Services. As a School of Continuing Studies Student you are not eligible to use CaPS services but you may opt-in by paying either the Student Service Fee or the CaPS fee ($70 taxes included) each semester. For more information please visit the School of Continuing Studies Eligibility Requirements section of our website.
I am an undergraduate and I want a grad student to be my mentor. Is that possible?
Yes. Currently we do have a few graduate students who have applied for the program as mentors. While they are fewer in number than working professionals, it is possible to be matched with a graduate student.
Is the mentor program open to graduate students?
Yes, as a McGill Masters, PhD student or Post Doctorate you may apply for a mentor.
What if there isn't a mentor in the field that I have requested?
We will make the every effort to try to recruit one specific to your needs. If that is not possible, we will match you with someone of closest relevance to your choice.
After I graduate next year, can I be a mentor?
Yes. All alumni are encouraged to join, no matter how recently they graduated.
Can I have more than one mentor?
Since mentors are limited, we allow students only one mentor at a time. Once your match is completed, however, you may apply for a new mentor. There is no limit to the number of consecutive mentors you may have as long as you are eligible to use CaPS services.
How should I prepare for the Mentor match?
You will be provided the necessary guides and documents at the Mentor Program Training which is a mandatory training after you submit your application and before you start your communication with the mentor. You should also attend CaPS workshops on Building Your Job Search Tools, Perfecting your Professional Image, and Practicing your Networking. You can network with employers at the CaPS Career Fairs which are relevant to your career field. You can also use CaPS How-To Guides to develop a comprehensive CV and Cover letter.
Is there a shorter mentor program that I can join?
If you are looking for a shorter mentor program or a quick way to make connections, sign up with McGillConnect, a dynamic career network designed to make it easy for you to build your network, find a mentor from the global McGill community.
How do I connect with a new mentor after my first match?
After you complete your first mentorship match, reach out to the Mentor Program Coordinator with the James IDs of two prospective mentors found on our mentor list in the “Join Now” tab of the mentor program website. The coordinator will send you an email regarding the next steps of the re-match process.
If you have a question that has not been addressed in this list, please contact the mentor program coordinator at mentor.caps [at] mcgill.ca
Note: If you encounter any problem in accessing the links, please follow these steps:
- Make sure your web browser is up-to-date.
- Try different web browsers (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.)
- Use our alternate registration form then mentor.caps [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Mentor%20Program%20-%20Application) (email) the Mentor Program Coordinator to process your application.
- If none of these options work, please contact the coordinator
Online Application for Mentees
- Registration Form: http://caps.mcgill.ca/ci2/index.php/student/register_form
- To view a list of available mentors: List of Mentors
Online Application for Mentors
- Registration Form: https://www.alumni.mcgill.ca/mentor/index.php
For more information about the McGill Mentor Program, please contact:
Mentor Program Coordinator
Tel: 514-398-3304 x0761
Email: mentor.caps [at] mcgill.ca