Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

Mentorship Program Fall 2015 Brief

December 30, 2015 by Austin Stewart

BLF Launches New Mentorship Program

The Buckeye Leadership Fellows Mentorship Program inspires meaningful relationships between students and professionals in which both mentor and mentee elevate their self-awareness, professional ethics, and leadership abilities. Mentors and mentees build relationships which prepare students for their lives post-graduation and strengthen the Ohio State and Buckeye Leadership Fellows networks by engaging in our Mentoring Program. 

The Ohio State University Alumni Association helped promote our new program to young professionals this fall and 28 young mentors agreed to participate. During the 7 month pilot program mentors will be able to build a meaningful relationship with a current undergraduate student and pay forward the experiences and advice they have received. Mentors will also serve as a sounding board for an undergraduate student by asking critical questions, listening, and providing support and guidance to achieve their goals. Most importantly, mentors will witness the growth and development of an undergraduate student as they build their self-awareness, leadership abilities, professional ethics, and career goals.

We are also asking our mentors to accept the Buckeye Oath: The Buckeye Oath is a commitment all Ohio State mentors uphold. To become a mentor for the Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program, mentors must agree to fulfill the Buckeye Oath. It reads:

"I promise to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgement, this promise:

  • I will prioritize the growth and development of my mentee in our interactions,
  • I will openly share my experiences - both good and bad,
  • I will actively listen to my mentee,
  • I will ask my mentee difficult questions and offer critical feedback when relevant,
  • I will make my professional network available to my mentee, when appropriate,
  • And I will remain committed to advancing the mission of The Ohio State University."

We are asking our mentors to commit 1 hour a month for 7 months to this pilot. Once we get feedback we will determine if the program will continue but early indications are that the mentors and mentees are having a great experience thus far! Below is a preview of the great comments we are receiving:

I have had such a positive and enjoyable experience with [student name removed] so far! We quickly learned in our first meeting that we are very similar and can relate on a lot of topics and issues, which has allowed for honest and insightful conversations. She has asked me some amazing, thought-provoking questions about my job and life in general – we had a great talk today about social anxiety and confronting our fears.

It’s still strange to be in this kind of position – having someone younger come to me for advice and insight. I struggle in my current role with still being seen as a student or not taken seriously because I’m 20+ years younger than everyone in my particular office. This mentoring experience has been a great opportunity for personal growth and to validate that my experiences and thoughts matter.