"Every year, I find the mentees are brighter, more capable and more experienced than I thought possible."
I’m in touch with both my past mentees. They keep me updated on their career developments.
I’m humbled by the students’ high level of knowledge. Every year, I find the mentees are brighter, more capable and more experienced than I thought possible. Gives me new appreciation for the quality of students in the AU SOC program.
"With the combination of a great mentor, my hard work, and a little bit of luck, I was offered the opportunity to work at one of my top choices in PR agencies this summer."
I knew there was something special about the SOC Alumni-Student Mentoring Program when I first heard of it from SOC’s Director of Development and Alumni Relations on orientation day for my master’s program in public communication. Little did I realize that the Alumni-Student Mentoring Program would turn out to be one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had during my time at SOC.
SOC alums are among some of the most prominent communications professionals in our field. They’re here to help you reach your highest dreams and often, open doors to launch your future career. Read more
Public Communication MA '08
"Jennifer was helpful to me because she was extremely honest--she pointed out my strengths and weaknesses and offered solutions for improvement."
The Alumni-Student Mentoring Program was a success for me. Jennifer Urbaniak, who works in the Corporate Communications department at Lufthansa Airlines was my mentor and our relationship was over the phone and through e-mail when I was in college. While in college, Jennifer was a good person for me to throw questions off of because she had been in the workforce for several years and had a similar communications background to me. Also, because of the nature of our relationship (having never met), I think Jennifer was more honest with me and she was able to answer my questions objectively.
I happened to move to New York following graduation and I was lucky enough to meet Jennifer in person, as our offices are both in the New York area. Jennifer was helpful to me because she was extremely honest--she pointed out my strengths and weaknesses and offered solutions for improvement and for really marketing myself to employers.
It's beneficial to students and young alumni to reach out to other alumni who have worked longer because they can gauge what is happening in an industry and they can get direction that would not come from a personal contact.
Currently, I am at Billboard Magazine working in Sales & Marketing. I was recruited for the position about two months ago. I am still in touch with Jennifer Urbaniak.
Sales & Marketing
Mentor Steve Scully (BA ’82), Senior Executive Producer and Political Editor for C-SPAN, enjoys spending time with his then mentee, Gabriela Smith, at the Mentoring Finale Reception.
"...the Alumni-Student Mentoring Program was one of the greatest experiences I had at American University."
I think the Alumni-Student Mentoring Program is one of many great programs at American University. My mentor, Rick Steele, assisted me with obtaining an internship at United Press International. He was an excellent mentor. His influence, instruction, faith, encouragement and admonition helped me focus my time and effort as a student and photographer.
To me, the Alumni-Student Mentoring Program was one of the greatest experiences I had at American University. It was not easy, as Mr. Steele made sure he worked me to death, but I appreciate everything he did because it forced me to become more critical of myself and my work.
After the program, I remained in touch with my mentor. I was so excited about the internship, I couldn't stop saying thank you. He was always kind enough to reply. For me, the Alumni Mentoring Program was a great opportunity. I love the program and I wish the program many more years of success.
"For the past several years, Diane has been the greatest resource for me because she truly is an expert in the PR industry and has been through everything I am going through now."
In my post-college years, no one has been more influential and helpful in my job search than my Alumni-Student Mentoring Program mentor, Diane Weiser, COO of WeissComm Partners, Inc. When I moved from DC to NYC two years ago and started looking for a job in the public relations field, Diane immediately helped update my resume and set up informational interviews for me with some of the city’s top PR agencies. Business brought her from San Francisco to NYC that same summer, where we met for drinks and talked about the industry and the direction it’s going in. Diane coached me on my interview skills and we discussed the pros and cons of agency life vs. small firm/boutique life. For the past several years, Diane has been the greatest resource for me because she truly is an expert in the PR industry and has been through everything I am going through now. I hope to also achieve the same level of success she has... one day!
We e-mail with each other periodically and try to make plans whenever she is in NYC on business. I spoke with her more frequently during my job search. But I know I can always pick up the phone and she will be there to give me advice.
"...the SOC mentoring program was an incredibly rewarding experience for me."
I have to say that the SOC mentoring program was an incredibly rewarding experience for me. I still keep in touch with my mentor, Carey Earle and she was definitely instrumental in helping me to make the right decision in choosing my current job.
I graduated from American in 2005 with a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and Communications Media. I am currently a Senior Account Executive at MWW Group, one of the top 10 PR firms in the country, where SOC alumnus Michael Kempner is President and CEO. I work almost exclusively on a state account where I manage all community outreach, event planning and media relations for the New Jersey Office of Clean Energy.
Senior Account Executive
"[Being a mentor is] a grounding experience that brings you back to AU in the best possible way: through the eyes of a student."
What I like about the mentoring program is that in the middle of a chaotic day, there’s a voice on the other end of the phone that takes you back to the beginning; to how it felt to begin your career, leave the AU nest and get out there with your first job. It reminds me that something that may be second nature to me now is a revelation to someone just starting out. [Being a mentor is] a grounding experience that brings you back to AU in the best possible way: through the eyes of a student.