CFANS Mentor Program: Information for Mentors


Mentor registration for the Mentor Program is available year-round. Apply here


The CFANS Mentor Program connects CFANS students with CFANS alumni and professionals in order to facilitate career exploration, giving students an opportunity to network and enhance their professional skills.

The student you will mentor will look to you to enhance his or her educational experience. You can serve as a resource and take an active role in shaping a future graduate of the college by offering your student encouragement, support, and the benefit of your experience.

Expectations and Time Commitment

CFANS Mentors are asked to:

  • Commit to mentoring one student during the academic year: from November through mid-May
  • Meet with your student at least once a month for at least 1 hour (in person, via phone, or Skype)
  • Offer a half-day job-shadowing opportunity for the student, or connect the student with a colleague or professional if job-shadows cannot be accommodated in your workplace
  • Provide guidance and support by sharing personal and professional experiences with your student
  • If available, attend the Mentor Program Kick-Off (held in early November) with your student (for mentors in the Twin Cities area). If you are unavailable to attend this does NOT disqualify from becoming a mentor.

There is no expectation that internships or employment will result from this experience.

Your Role

You do not have to fulfill every possible function of a mentor to be effective, but do let your mentee know what kind of information or support you are willing to provide. Some ways you can support your student include:

  • Offering general career advice, including resume/cover letter review, informational and practice interviews, and professional development suggestions.
  • Assisting your mentee in developing a career plan with realistic and achievable goals.
  • Helping your mentee learn about career options and connecting them with networking opportunities.
  • Including your student in professional activities and encouraging your student to explore new areas.
  • Following up on commitments made to the student and notifying them if you are unable to attend scheduled meetings.

Getting Matched with a Student

Matches are based on the available students in your area of expertise, student and mentor preferences as indicated in the applications, and the date mentor applications are received and/or updated. We make every attempt at matching the student's major and interests with the mentor's area of expertise whenever possible. You will be notified of your match prior to the Kick-Off event. 

Resources & Challenges

While CFANS has had great success with the Mentor Program, there is a chance that problems may occur. If you have difficulty reaching your student or encounter any problems in the program, immediately contact the Mentor Program Committee at

The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Mentor Program is coordinated by the College's Alumni Society and supported by the St. Paul Campus Career Center, along with the support and guidance of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association.  Additional resources and contacts to assist in mentoring are available on the Mentor Program Resource page.