The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) is recruiting alumni and industry professionals to serve as mentors to its students during the upcoming school year. From 2010 to 2011, the CFANS Mentor Program grew from 85 student-mentor matches to 135, a 58% increase. This year the college expects even more students to apply for the program. With industry professionals as their mentors, students can gain professional networking experience and learn a great deal about their field of interest outside of the classroom. To match student demand, the CFANS Mentor Program is in need of professionals who are willing to guide undergraduates and graduates in their career exploration. Paul Hugunin, CFANS Alumni Society Board member and Chair of the Mentor Committee, says, “This program has had such a beneficial impact on students over the years. We need additional mentors to help us keep up with the number of students who recognize how valuable a mentor can be in their professional development.”
The mentor-mentee relationships through the CFANS Mentor Program have always been reciprocal. As students learn about how their field of study applies to work outside of the classroom, mentors better understand how CFANS prepares students for their careers. As mentors get to know their students as skilled, innovative professionals, companies and organizations gain a competitive hiring advantage. Rusty Nelson, a CFANS alumnus at SuperValu, says, “Mentoring gives me hope for the future of both my industry and mankind. The students that I have mentored have been bright, self-motivated, willing to learn and want to give back to their community. I have kept in touch with many of them and have watched as they have succeeded in their career paths. What could be more gratifying!”
Mentors are needed in the following fields:
- Animal Science/Pre-Vet
- Food Science
- Natural Resources and Environmental Science
- Plant Science
Retired or newly graduated, friend of the university or CFANS alum, all are welcome to become a CFANS mentor. Apply at www.cfans.umn.edu/AlumniFriends/GetInvolved/Mentor. Please submit your application by September 24th to participate in the 2012-13 Mentor Program. Contact Masha Finn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612.624.9957 with any questions.