The Graduate Student Council is hosting the Interdisciplinary Mentorship Program to connect graduate students with various university and community leaders in hopes of increasing post-graduation success.
The program is 12 weeks long and takes place via Zoom. The meetings are held on Mondays at 7 p.m. and can be accessed through the GSC Facebook page’s events tab, with the next one scheduled for next week on June 14. The event will offer networking opportunities, discussions on life in specific job fields and tips on being a community leader and activist.
“Essentially, I noticed a longstanding need for formal training for graduate students to learn how to build and leverage networks across disciplines to increase their net worth while preparing for post-graduate success,” GSC President Andrea Ortiz said.
Roughly 53 percent of recent graduates are unemployed or underemployed and the average college graduate needs up to half a year to find their first job, according to the University of Washington. However, employers project a 7.2 percent rise this year in the hiring of new college graduates, according to a report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
GSC’s program is designed to give graduate students a place to exchange ideas, ask questions, raise concerns and receive motivation for their post-graduation goals from a group of mentors that include entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors and a member of Congress. Guest speakers have included President Neal Smatresk, Dr. Brent Bost and Representative Michael Burgess.
Ortiz said that the program was the brainchild of a conversation she had with university regent John Scott Jr. Scott was supportive of the mentorship program since the beginning and has shared insight into his experiences overcoming adversity, stress and burnout. Scott said being a part of the Interdisciplinary Mentorship Program has been an honor.
“I believe it is pivotal for students to have a broad perspective that extends beyond campus, and [Ortiz] shares this vision,” Scott said. “[…] It is my hope this program can continue to grow and thrive at UNT, and eventually statewide and nationally. With [Ortiz] at the helm of the Graduate Student Council, I am confident that mentors like me will continue to come aboard and give back.”
Attorney Dave McCue is one of the mentors who worked with the program. McCue said he enjoyed working with the students and how the “challenging and thoughtful” questions they posed showed how mature they are.
“Real success begins with education and continues with education,” McCue said. “[…] As always when I teach, I came away with much more than I gave. Hats off to [GSC] and this excellent mentorship program.”
Previous programs have seen participation numbers ranging between one to over 30 students. These numbers contributed to GSC considering the program a success and the organization plans on continuing the series in the upcoming fall semester.
Featured Image: A close-up of the GSC banner located outside of their office in Union 344 on June 6, 2021. Image by John Anderson