College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) Mentor Program

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Resource Person

The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) Mentor Program aims to connect CFANS students with alumni and professionals in order to facilitate career exploration and provide students with an opportunity to network and enhance their professional skills. The program began in 1993 with 5 mentor matches and has grown to have approximately 100 matches per year. We have received tremendous support from alumni and friends, many having mentored our students for several years.

The guidance of a mentor is essential in helping students become more focused in their career goals and to develop professional skills they will need as they begin internships and move into the workplace. Students who participate in this program are sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students who are interested in exploring their field of career interest and learning how to apply their academic interests to 'the real world'. The students who are selected for the Mentor Program demonstrate the ability to take full advantage of the professional development opportunities that the Mentor Program offers.

Mentors in the program are professionals - alums and non-alums - who are interested in impacting a student in their field of interest. Mentors range in age; everyone who has professional experience can influence and impact a current student! For the most part, mentors live and work in the metro area; however we welcome mentors living in other areas of the state, outside of Minnesota, or overseas.

The goals of the CFANS Mentor Program are to:

  • Match experienced and knowledgeable role models with current students interested in exploring related career paths.
  • Increase student awareness of the variety and scope of opportunities in similar career areas
  • Provide informal advice and counsel for students seeking to clarify their career directions.
  • We start each year's Mentor Program in the fall with a Kick-Off event to facilitate the mentors' and students' initial contact and to provide them with tools to get the mentorship off to a great start. The mentoring activity occurs during fall and spring semesters concluding in mid-April. During the course of the program, mentors and students will receive information on events and activities especially appropriate for Mentor Program participants.

    Mentors can apply year-round; however, matching for the current school year takes place based on applications and profile updates submitted by September.

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    Topic Areas: 
    Environmental Sciences
    Target Audience: 
    Higher Education
    Business Community
    Geographic Location: 
    All Minnesota
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    Contact(s) or order information.: 

    College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS)
    University of Minnesota
    277 Coffey Hall
    1420 Eckles Ave
    St. Paul, MN 55108-6074
    612-625-1260 (fax)