Undergraduate Mentorship Program

The undergraduate mentorship program links undergraduate economics students with volunteer mentors in order to enable students to develop life and career skills through the guidance of seasoned professionals. Mentoring allows the student to learn about specific jobs, career paths, networking, organizational cultures, business functions and industries. Students receive constructive feedback about career goals, career building, personal skills and business skills. The program mission is to enrich and support the professional, academic, and personal experiences of undergraduate students in the department in order to assist them in the transition from academic to professional life.

Been There, Done That: Alumni Mentors Help Students Prepare for Economics Careers (UW College of Arts & Sciences Perspectives, December 2016)

Program Quick Links

Why Become a Mentor?

Mentoring an economics undergraduate is a rewarding experience for alumni for a number of reasons. Interacting with students often prompts professionals who have been away from the classroom for many years to reflect on their own careers and take stock of their accomplishments. Through the mentoring process, mentors come to realize how much they have learned and how much they have to offer college students. Most mentors also find the experience reinvigorates their interest both in their own work and in that of current economics students.

Mentors and students meet one-on-one or in small group with participants jointly deciding how to structure the mentoring based on individual needs and time constraints. The program is for a minimum of one year, but can be extended for another year if mutually agreed upon by student and mentor. The program is not merely a source for an informational interview, but rather an opportunity to create and foster relationships for the student’s academic career and beyond.

This program is not intended to be an internship, nor is it designed to lead to a job in the mentor’s place of employment.

Time Commitment for Mentors

The Mentor program runs from approximately October through May each year. Students apply to participate in the program in September and, after being assigned to their mentors and attending orientation in late October, are asked to arrange meetings with their mentors at least once per quarter. Many mentors find it useful to meet with students on a monthly basis. Conference rooms in Savery Hall are available for Mentor Program participants’ use. Mentors are encouraged to attend a year-end social in May, and are welcome to continue the mentor relationship during summer quarter, if desired.

Mentor Resources

  • Mentor Resource Library: Here you will find articles, tip sheets, and presentations about careers and job prospecting that may be of use in your mentoring relationships.
  • Other Mentors: Other mentors are a great resource to you when you have questions about mentoring or are looking for ideas and inspiration.
  • LinkedIn Group: This is a mentors-only forum for discussion and sharing articles related to mentoring college-age students.

Interested in Participating?

Interested alumni and friends of the department are invited to meet with current mentors year-round to learn more about the program. Mentors need not be alumni of the Economics Department, but should have an interest in Economics education. Contact one of the mentorship program chairs listed below. 

Mentor Testimonials

“It was a pleasure to get to know my student and hear about how well he’s done in both his economics and other educational and entrepreneurial pursuits. In addition to giving him my perspective and advice on things, I felt I learned a lot from working with him.”

“My mentee was always on time, prepared, and present in the conversation. I think I have found a new friend, too!”

“I’ve been very impressed with not only the quality of the students, but also the care that went into matching up students and mentors to make sure the experience was highly rewarding for both parties.”

More questions? Contact the program leadership team:

Martina Ji, '12
Senior Associate, Management Consulting, KPMG LLP
martinaji28@gmail.com

Kerry Kahl, ’73
Senior Director of Technology Compliance, UW-IT 
kkahl@uw.edu

Dimitri Perera, '08
Head of Project Management and Digital Services, copacino+fujikado
dkperera@gmail.com

Olga Yang, ’82
Commercial Underwriter, Philadelphia Insurance Co.
OOYangIII@hotmail.com