The Security Studies Alumni Mentor Program is designed to help current students cultivate a network of professional contacts in the security studies field. Students that sign up for the program are assigned to a participating SSP alumnus whose field of study and career path are similar to that of the student. Ideally, mentorship begins during the student’s first semester and progresses to the point where the mentor can make customized and specific career suggestions, often serving as a reference, writing letters of recommendation and even making personal introductions.
In order to participate in the program, students must first fill out the below application and then submit an updated resume. Once students have received their mentor’s contact information, they are expected to initiate contact within a week and to make a good-faith effort to cultivate the relationship. Mentorship can be an extremely rewarding experience that continues well-past graduation, but like any good relationship, it requires an investment of time and energy.
Alumni mentors have generously volunteered their time to help SSP students, so the onus is on the student to make the most of the opportunity. Alumni mentors commit to meeting with their mentee at least once a semester and to respond to SSP-related inquiries. We suggest that the student agree upon a regular meeting schedule early on, the frequency and formality of which will largely depend on your mentor’s schedule and personal style.
HOW ARE STUDENTS SELECTED?
Students are selected based on the availability of a suitable mentor. It is our goal to match as many student applicants as possible during their first or second semester. If an appropriate mentor is not immediately available, we urge you to take advantage of the many networking opportunities available through CPASS, SSP and the School of Foreign Service while we continue the search. These include meeting with core and adjunct faculty members and fellow students and participating in the many Career Networking events that take place throughout the year.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE ALUMNI MENTORSHIP PROGRAM?
* Prepare an updated resume. If possible, have your resume reviewed by a member of SSP or the SFS Graduate Career Development Center staff. Once a match is found, your resume will be sent to your potential mentor.
* Fill out the Alumni Mentor Application
* Submit your application and current resume to Payton Tanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND:
* While we have plenty of SSP graduate in the DC area, we have that many more who are stationed outside of the country or who live elsewhere. These alumni are still interested in being a mentor, and their resources and knowledge are just as useful as local alumni. If you would prefer a mentor in this area, please make that specification in the "Other comments" section. Otherwise, alumni are prepared to mentor you remotely and still be an excellent guide.
* We ask both alumni and students to re-volunteer each semester for this program, so you could very well be paired with multiple mentors over your time in SSP, so as to get the broadest perspective possible.
* Alumni who are not your mentor will also be invited to various events throughout the year, so you will certainly have the opportunity to connect with the alumni population in this way as well!