Mentorship Program Helps Student Make Important Decisions

As a student, the opportunity to build a relationship with a professional in your field of interest can be extremely beneficial. Thanks to the Executive Mentorship Program at Minnesota State University Moorhead, Amanda Carlson connected with Julie Dickelman.

Julie is the human resources director at Touchmark Retirement Community. She graduated from MSUM in 1984 with a degree in criminal justice. She has been participating in the program as a mentor for about four years.

“For me the goal is to provide the student with whatever they might need to make a conscious decision that this is what they want to do,” says Julie.

Amanda is currently a student at MSUM. She is majoring in business administration and minoring in human resources. She plans continue her education at MSUM by pursuing an MBA. Her advisor encouraged her to participate in the mentorship program, so she decided to give it a shot.

The relationship that mentor builds with their mentee is mutually beneficial. The student gets connected with someone that can give them insight into the reality of the career path they are pursuing.

“I didn’t know much about what the real world of HR had to offer,” says Amanda. “So, after being paired up with Julie she was able to get me the hands on experience I needed to clarify my decision.”

Mentors get the opportunity to learn through this experience as well.

“I think the youth have a lot to offer to people like myself that have been in business for a long time,” says Julie. “It also helps me hone in on my skills and remain accountable for both of us.”

Through this program Amanda has had the opportunity to visit Julie in her workplace and gain hands on experience. She shadowed Julie throughout her day and went meetings with her. Julie also helped Amanda with other things such as her resume and cover letter.

Amanda talks about how thankful she is for the mentorship experience and how it helped her gain confidence in her skills.

“I learned what to expect when I start my career and the steps to completing different tasks,” say’s Amanda. “When I get an internship in the future, I’m equipped with the knowledge I need to do these tasks and be comfortable with them.”

Amanda also appreciated getting Julie’s insights on projects and getting Julies advice on real world experiences.

Students are encouraged to participate in this program as it can help them clarify what direction they would like to take their career.

Julie says she is a good example of someone that  could have used insight from a mentor. She had multiple career changes before she found a home working in human resources. Now she enjoys being able to help guide other people on their career path.

“Meeting your mentor and having them show you everything you need to know about your career is the best hands on experience you can get,” says Amanda. “Reading about it or seeing it in shows does not compare to the in-person conversations you’re going to have or the connections you’re going to make.”

Students are welcome to participate in this program multiple times.  That gives them even more opportunities to make professional connections that can turn into lifelong bonds.

Julie has a previous mentee with a full-time job in human resources that still reaches out to her for advice. She says she doesn’t always have all the answers, but she likes to be there for them when they reach out.

Julie and Amanda recommend this impactful mentorship for all MSUM students and engaged professionals.

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