An Update from Sr. Alumni Career Coach, Marie Parziale
The art of passing knowledge and expertise from one person to another through a mentor relationship has been a long-established tradition. A practice I was aware of but never had the privilege of being a part of, at least not formally. Like many of us in the workplace and life, I have been blessed to have a few good people around me who saw my potential and were a great support. What I didn’t understand was how to turn those relationships into mentoring opportunities and how to actively look for other mentors that would help me advance in my career.
Being a mentor rather than a mentee has been more natural for me. In my 10+ years working at Stony Brook, I’ve had some of my most satisfying experiences as a mentor. Students who stayed in touch, asked great questions, sought advice, opened themselves up, and allowed vulnerability. The satisfaction of watching my mentees grow and achieve their goals is one of the best parts of my career, and I am grateful to have built these strong relationships. Through their eyes and the discussions I’ve had with them, my eyes opened to how powerful and satisfying being both a mentor and mentee is for our careers and souls. I believe that we were made to be givers and in the act of giving, joy and happiness multiply.
Managing a mentoring program and hearing first-hand stories from mentors and mentees has helped me understand this even more deeply as many participants have shared their enriching experiences. Unfortunately, the pandemic has made connecting and building relationships difficult over the past year and a half. Our students are back this fall, and many have not had the opportunities that they would have pre-pandemic. Although the pandemic has kept us apart, one of the positive outcomes is that video conferencing is accessible to all and has opened up the freedom to have mentoring conversations and build relationships both near and far.
In collaboration with the Alumni Relations office, the Stony Brook University Career Center is rerunning our Micro-Mentoring Program for the 2021/2022 academic year. It is an innovative approach to mentoring that allows students and recent alumni to seek guidance from mentors for a one-time career conversation. It was created to teach students how to connect and converse with alumni. We encourage both parties to stay in touch and develop a relationship if there is a natural connection. The program’s primary goal is to empower our students to feel confident in their ability to reach out to alumni for career conversations, informational interviews, networking, and how to build authentic relationships. These are skills that can be learned and will make all the difference for the success of our students and recent alum. To facilitate more opportunities to practice and get comfortable using these skills, we need you.
On September 22, 2021, join the Career Center, Alumni Relations, and our panel for our 2021-2022 Micro-Mentoring Kick-Off to hear firsthand stories from Stony Brook Alumni mentors and mentee matches and learn how to volunteer as a micro-mentor and make a difference in the life of a Stony Brook student or recent graduate.
The Power of Mentoring: How to find a mentor and build a network for career success.
September 22, 2021, 6 pm
Who can be a Mentor?
Stony Brook University micro-mentors are alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Stony Brook. They are professionals that are passionate about sharing their knowledge and resources with students and recent graduates. Volunteering is a great way to impact mentees’ lives and stay connected with your Stony Brook University community.
Who can be a Mentee?
Current Stony Brook students and recent graduates who are looking to have a career conversation and learn more about specific industries and job roles. Mentees are passionate about growing professionally, learning new skills, navigating their career path, and expanding their professional networks.
About Marie Parziale, Sr. Alumni Career Coach
“Working with Stony Brook students and alumni to create a meaningful life and a purposeful career brings meaning to my life. The best part of coaching is helping my clients see what they have instead of what they don’t. I empower them to dream big and recognize their strengths, interests, and gifts while helping them see a clear path and create the necessary steps to make their dream a reality while making a living. If you are interested in working with me or joining the Micro-Mentoring Program as a mentor or mentee, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”