Ask Alumni Program Information for Students
It can be daunting to think past your final year of study and what you might be doing next. What does a career in a particular field actually look like in reality? Should you undertake further study? Have you chosen the right career path?
Ask Alumni is a new mentoring program providing you with the opportunity to connect with volunteer alumni mentors for one-off career conversations. You can connect anywhere, anytime with multiple professionals from around the world to expand your knowledge of career options and plan for life after study.
The program launched in August 2018 and we welcome your feedback while we continue to build the Ask Alumni community.
- SIGN UP using your student University credentials
- Complete the Ask Alumni application form
- Apart from your basic information, provide details of your study areas, career areas of interest and the type of career advice you are interested in receiving
- You will be automatically accepted into the mentoring program
- Once accepted, update your profile and add a photo
- Search for and start connecting with alumni
Visit our careers website for more professional resources and for guidelines on conducting an information interview. If you would like to discuss the program in greater detail or have any questions about the application process, contact us.
Contact Us13 MELB (13 6352)
What is one-time mentoring? How will it benefit me?
Harness the knowledge and insight of multiple professionals in less time than a formal mentoring program.
One-time mentoring offers you the benefits of mentoring in less time. We encourage students to connect with as many mentors as you can to provide a broad perspective. Engaging with many mentors will help you to make more informed decisions about your career.
How are meetings conducted?
Participants meet once to discuss any number of career-related questions. For one-off conversations an informational interview format is best, where you have a series of pre-prepared open-ended questions for a mentor. An open question will start with a HOW, WHAT, WHY, WHEN and cannot be answered with a yes or no. An informational interview can take place via:
- Video call
- Phone call
- Email exchange
- Face to face meeting (post COVID-19)
Benefits of one-time mentoring
- Find out about alternative career paths and options post-study
- Learn from a professional about how to successfully adjust to the working world
- Develop your career plan and align your goals to your values
- Gain confidence and a career direction
- Increase your confidence in networking and your professional communication skills
- Have your CV or job application checked by a professional
- Practice your interviewing technique
- Be more informed about graduate study and career options
It's important to be both inquisitive and engaged. You might have a specific question in mind but although it is a one-time meeting don’t make it all about you. Make sure to ask your mentor questions about their life and listen without interrupting. And always make sure to thank your mentor for their time.
Who are alumni?
Alumni in this program are former students of the University of Melbourne. Alumni were once in your shoes and are uniquely placed to provide you with relevant career advice and support.
We have invited all alumni to participate in Ask Alumni so you will see mentors from a range of backgrounds and at different stages of their careers.
Once you have joined the program you will have the option to search for and connect with alumni. The mentors in this program are all volunteers, therefore they have the right to accept or decline any meeting request received by a student. Mentors do not have to provide a reason for declining a request.
For more information on the alumni community please visit our website.
Am I eligible?
All currently enrolled University of Melbourne students are eligible, as are all alumni.
If you are currently enrolled at the University of Melbourne and have been provided with a student username and password you are eligible to sign up to this program. This includes students who are on exchange or studying via distance education.
We you graduate, you can continue your participation as an alum.
How do the meeting requests work?
The system will allow you to submit a request to connect with alumni, who will then either accept or decline your request.
When you sign up, you'll need to fill in information about yourself and your career interests so that the system's algorithm can find and suggest mentors who are the best match for you. You can also search for and connect with any alumni in the program.
Alumni will complete a profile with information about their employment and educational background when they sign up. You will have access to this information and if they sound interesting you can arrange a 30-minute meeting with them. You will need to specify what time and format you want this meeting to be in, meetings can take place as:
- Video calls
- Phone calls
- Email exchanges
- Face to face (post COVID-19)
You will need to send a short message with a subject title indicating a general topic of discussion. This could be ‘Request to conduct an informational interview about you and your career’. Propose a time and method to connect and click 'request meeting'.
Your meeting request will be 'pending' until the mentor accepts it. You can have up to five requests pending at any one time. If the alumni don't respond to your request within three days they will receive an automatic reminder, and if they don't respond within 14 days your meeting request will be cancelled and you can search for other available mentors.
While you're in Ask Alumni, look out for other useful resources that we'll be introducing including videos, webinars, podcasts and articles to help you with your career planning.
Who can see my profile information?
Your personal information and contact details are only shared with administrators and select mentors who you choose to connect with.
Other students can't view your profile at any time, and alumni mentors can only view your profile after you request a meeting with them. Once you send a meeting request, that mentor will be able to view your profile before they decide whether to accept or decline your request. If they decline your request, they will no longer be able to view your information.
For the purposes of ensuring the program continues to meet all expectations, program administrators can also view your profile information and your activities.