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@State - the SDSU Student Newsletter

Students Get an Early Edge in Career Planning

Aztec Mentor Program logoWith the fall semester coming to a frenzied close, it’s the perfect time to reflect on all you’ve accomplished over the past few months, like finding a job, deciding on a post-grad career strategy and building connections with key professionals who will help personally guide you down your path to success.

If none of these scenarios are ringing true for you, you probably weren’t one of the nearly 100 students participating in the Aztec Mentor Program this semester. Fear not, because on January 17th, registration opens for spring participation in AMP, the newest program from the San Diego State University Department of Career Services.

Close to 400 professional mentors, many of whom are SDSU alumni, have joined the Aztec Career Connection ProNet database, ready to pair up with current juniors, seniors and graduate students for eight to 12 hours over the course of the upcoming semester.

A Human Experience

Christy Quiogue, a Career Counselor at University of California San Diego, and Breana Clark, a senior majoring in Child and Family Development, are one of the mentor/mentee pairs that helped kick off AMP’s inaugural semester in September.

Clark, who has shadowed Quiogue during work meetings, met and mingled with her coworkers and picked her brain over coffee, said the experience has been instrumental for her as she prepares to graduate this spring.

“I got to do so much in one day,” Clark said. “It was really interesting to get behind the scenes and see the brainstorming and collaboration that happens in the process of developing a new program.”

Quiogue, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from SDSU in 2000 and again in 2002 with a master’s degree, said AMP gave her an opportunity to give back to the university and pay forward the wisdom and support she received from her mentors as a student.

“It transforms me to know that I’m valuable as an alum,” Quiogue said. “Because SDSU doesn’t just give you a class schedule or a GPA or a degree, it’s the human experiences that make such a big difference on a student’s path throughout college.”

photo: Bobbie Gray
Career Services Counselor Bobbie Gray
“Mentors are a great resource for knowledge and guidance, but this is a student-directed experience. The students who will get the most out of the experience are the ones who are serious-minded and have a general sense of what they want to accomplish.”

The Mentor Matchmaker

Career Services Counselor Bobbie Gray and her team at the Career Services department designed AMP’s mentor selection as a virtual experience, allowing students to browse through the list of prospective mentors, view their LinkedIn profiles and directly contact the professionals who best fit their goals and interests.

But don’t mistake this virtual approach for a laid back one. According to Gray, the key to capitalizing on the program’s opportunities is preparation. A digital orientation will be available on AMP’s website in January, and students are encouraged to have a completed resume and a purposeful mindset.