Announcing the Alumni Mentorship Program

Oberlin Shansi is excited to announce the launch of our new Alumni Mentorship Program! The initiative was designed to offer current Fellows and recent Fellowship alumni avenues for networking, skills building, and seeking support from the broader Shansi community. The program will consist of two primary components: an annual series of online career panels and workshops led by members of the Shansi community and a Mentor’s Directory, which will provide career details and contact information of Fellowship Alumni who have registered for the program.

“One of the biggest goals for Shansi staff is to ensure career readiness for our current and recent Fellows,” observed Deputy Director Ted Samuel. “Till now, we have offered individualized support through advising sessions and help with personal statements, resumes, and cover letters. But with a staff of only three full-time employees, our expertise is limited, especially in fields like medicine, technology, legal services, and more. It made sense for us to engage the Shansi community in offering professional mentorship. They are an impressive group of people who have a history of investing in future generations of Fellows.”

Olivia Hay ‘17, Shansi Fellow to Lady Doak College from 2017 to 2019, was instrumental in designing the program. Over the summer of 2020, she surveyed Fellows and young alumni to better understand their professional development needs. She noted, “I appreciate that we started the process by listening and connecting with some of the current and recent Fellows. It was great to have a chance to learn about their aspirations and it felt encouraging to hear that there was so much interest in connecting with the Shansi community in a more formal way. I know that the end of the second year can be a challenging time for a lot of Fellows trying to figure out what’s next for them, so I hope that the new program will help provide more opportunities for community building and connection.”

Currently, more than 40 alumni mentors are registered for the program. They work in a wide range of sectors, including tech, global health, journalism, legal services, business and finance, and public policy. The first iteration of the Mentor’s Directory will be distributed to program participants shortly and inaugural career panels and workshops are planned for the late Spring and early summer of 2021. If you are a Shansi Fellowship alum and are interested in joining the program, please enroll here.

“The Alumni Mentorship Program is, at its core, a community-centered initiative,” Samuel noted. “It is a way to further foster communication and connections between generations of Shansi alumni.” He added, “We are excited to see how the program evolves in the coming months and years.”

Participants of a 'Community Conversation with Oberlin Shansi' on December 10th, 2020

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