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Mentoring Programs

Be a Host or Mentor

Whether you are hosting a student at your organization or discussing career paths on the phone, you are having a positive impact on the life of a student. The Student Success Centre offers mentoring and externship programs in a variety of formats, durations and levels of involvement to meet individual needs and interests.

Benefits of Being a Mentor/Host

  • Enhance you communication and leadership skills
  • Develop and screen talent for your organization
  • Increase job satisfaction
  • Give back to industry
  • Increase the profile of your organization with the next generation
  • Gain insights from future employees about your industry

Informal Programs

Formal Programs

  • MentorMatch (Bachelor of Health Sciences)
  • Alumni Mentoring
  • Yonkwahahiyos (Indigenous Studies)
  • Wallingford Women in Leadership

If you have questions, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Advisor Network
    ...
  • Job Shadow
    ...
  • Career Field
    Externship
  • Hamilton
    Experience Connector

Alumni and Partners Advisor Network

The Alumni and Partners Advisor Network is an online database of career mentors who have agreed to provide guidance, advice and mentorship to McMaster students and young alumni.
As a career mentor you share information about your personal career path, your industry and your organization. By sharing the story of your success and lessons learned along the way, you can inspire, educate and influence the next generation.

  • Choose the level of interaction and length of commitment in which you are interested
  • Determine the preferred method of contact
  • Select the type of mentoring you wish to provide (career conversations, resume critiques, mock interview)

Get started and sign up as an advisor!

Job Shadow

Job Shadow week is an annual event that takes place in November.

Job Shadow hosts:

  • Provide McMaster students with the opportunity to observe the day-to-day activities of a career professional
  • Act as a mentor by providing information about your own professional, personal and academic development
  • Instill the confidence and knowledge in students that they need to continue on their own journey of career exploration
  • Receive a level of personal satisfaction by giving back to the community

Host registration for Job Shadow Week opens in early October at which time you can choose to commit to either a FULL DAY (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or a HALF DAY (9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1 p.m.to 4 p.m.) experience with a student.

INFOGRAPHIC: Job Shadow Showdown
TEXT: Job Shadow Showdown

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Career Field Externship

Community partners have the opportunity to host and mentor a McMaster student or alumni in an interactive and unpaid capacity at their organization during the February Reading Break (February 16 – 19) for 3 days.

Participating hosts can partner with colleagues to provide a valuable and broad based learning and development opportunity. Here’s an example of how you can structure a 3-day externship program.

  DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3
9 a.m. Introductions & Goal Setting – introduce yourself and your team to the student. Set goals focused on the outcome of the experience. Job Shadow - Allow the student to sit with you or a colleague to observe handling of your day-to-day business, including attending meetings and/or listening in on conference calls. Job Shadow – have the student shadow you or another colleague.
10 a.m.

Office / Facility Tour– give the student a tour of your office or facility.

11 a.m. Organization Information & Policies – have the student read all about your organization’s mission, values and goals.
12 p.m. Lunch – have lunch with the student and allow provide the opportunity to meet other members of your team. Lunch/free time Lunch/free time
1 p.m. Department Meeting – take the student to various departments to learn more about your organization or shadow a business meeting. Resume/CV/ LinkedIN review - plan a meeting with Recruitment or HR Department/Organization Challenge - allow the student to put the finishing touches on their challenge.
2 p.m. *Department/Organization Challenge - Allow the student to have time to work through their challenge.
3 p.m. Department/Organization Challenge – pitch a challenge to the student and allow time to work on it. Department/Organization Callenge Presentation - have the student deliver a presentation to you and any others that have a vested interest. 
4 p.m. Debrief/Q&A - debrief with the student on the experience. Reflect on goals and allow time for the student to ask you any final questions. 
HOST = FREE TIME

Department/Organization Challenge

Before the student arrives, spend a little time considering some of your department or organization’s day to day challenges. Is there an existing problem, issue, or opportunity for which you haven’t yet found a viable solution? Pitch your problem/challenge to the student.
By going through this exercise your organization stands to obtain a fresh, unbiased look at a significant business issue. The student may also have ideas on the latest tools, techniques and theories applicable to your organization’s situation that you may not have considered.
The student should be encouraged to work on the problem over the course of their field work experience. Consider having the student give a brief presentation (at the end of their field placement). Examples could include:

  • How can we better target consumers?
  • How can we create an exceptional customer service experience for our customers/clients?
  • How can we improve a particular process by streamlining or automating it?
  • How can we better manage our late-paying clients more effectively?

This exercise will allow you to evaluate the student’s strategic abilities first-hand to determine whether they would eventually add value to your organization as a future employee. This also reinforces the “McMaster model”, a student-centred, problem-based, interdisciplinary approach to learning.

Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get an application package or for more information. Registration begins December 2015.

Hamilton Experience Connector

Be an industry influencer and host a McMaster alumni for a 2 day career exploration and observation experience on May 31 and June 1, 2016.  Provide young professionals with a chance to gain insight into your career and industry and enhance your own mentorship skills.

A suggested itinerary to guide you in structuring the experience between yourself and your HEC participant follows. You can choose to have the participant spend the entire time with you or you can partner with your colleagues and offer the opportunity to interact with others.

Time Day 1 Activity
9 a.m. Introductions & Goal Setting – Introduce yourself and your team to the participant. Set goals focused on the outcome of the experience.
10 a.m. Observational Job Analysis - Allow the participant to observe common business activities with yourself or a colleague. 
12 p.m. Lunch – Showcase Hamilton and enjoy a local eatery
1 p.m. Department Meeting – Take the participant to various departments to learn more about your organization.
3 p.m.   Department/Organization Challenge* – Pitch a challenge and provide time for analysis and problem solving.
  Host Time Free

Time Day 2 Activity
9 a.m.

Observational Job Analysis – Demonstrate more of the scenarios you encounter and skills you use by providing more time with you and/or colleagues for the participant to observe business activities and interactions.

12 p.m. Lunch/free time
1 p.m. Resume/CV/LinkedIn Review - plan a meeting with Recruitment or HR.
3 p.m.   Department/Organization Challenge Presentation –Provide time for a discussion or for the participant to deliver a presentation of their findings/solutions.
4 p.m.   Debrief/Q&A - debrief and provide feedback. Reflect on goals and allow time for final questions. 
  Host Time Free

*Department/Organization Challenge Preparation

Spend time considering some of your department/organization’s challenges. Is there an existing problem or opportunity for which you haven’t yet found a viable solution? Pitch it to your HEC participant and provide time for them to work on the problem.  Your organization stands to obtain a fresh, unbiased look at a business issue and potentially gain knowledge on the latest tools, techniques and theories applicable to your industry. You could also consider having the participant give a brief presentation.

Additionally, this exercise provides the opportunity for you to evaluate your HEC participant’s strategic abilities first-hand to determine whether they would eventually add value to your organization as a future employee.