This site uses cookies.
Learn more.

×

This website uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the website to operate while others offer you a better browsing experience. You give us your permission to use cookies, by continuing to use our website after you have received the cookie notification. To find out more about cookies on this website and how to change your cookie settings, see our Privacy policy and Terms of Use.

A Mentor’s Advice: Focus on Your Mentee’s Personal Goals

Published September 10, 2018

A Mentor’s Advice: Focus on Your Mentee’s Personal Goals

When Jacqualyn Schulman was in high school, she was interested in science but had no idea of the career possibilities out there in the STEM fields. That’s one of the reasons that today, as a pharmacology graduate student at SUNY Upstate Medical University, she devotes a significant portion of her time to mentoring high school students through the Academy’s various mentoring programs. “I love encouraging the younger generation to get involved in STEM fields and teaching them about all the possibilities,” she says.

Jacqualyn’s latest mentoring experience was through United Technologies STEM U, where Jacqualyn was matched with Jodie Guthrie, 17, from Saltcoats, Scotland. The STEM U mentoring program matches students ages 13 to 18 years old from around the globe with STEM professionals. The students complete course work on 21st century skills, including communications, leadership and college readiness.


“There is no better day to start. You have so much to offer a young person—it doesn’t matter where you are in your career, you have experience to share.”


One reason Jacqualyn has been such a great mentor to many young people is that she makes sure to touch on what’s currently going on in their lives and what their personal goals are.

“My mentorhelped and guided me by discussing university and career ideas and what skills I should develop and grow to get to where I want to be,” Jodie says. “These discussions helped me decide what course to do at university—I start in September!”

As Jodie completed the college readiness course, she and Jacqualyn met regularly through Skype to discuss what topics Jodie was most interested in at school and what majors might align best with those interests. They also talked about the pros and cons of various universities Jodie was considering.

The great news? Jodie got into Strathclyde University in Glasgow, and plans to study Forensic and Analytical Chemistry.

“I’ve learned and advanced things like study skills, determination, finance organization and confidence, which are all crucial for university life,” Jodie said of her time working with Jacqualyn.

As for Jacqualyn, she couldn’t be prouder of Jodie. And she noted how much she learns each time she mentors a student.


“My mentees inspire me and I know they’re going to make amazing changes for this world!”


Though she’s still a graduate student herself, Jacqualyn is a veteran mentor who has advice for anyone thinking about mentoring: “There is no better day to start. You have so much to offer a young person—it doesn’t matter where you are in your career, you have experience to share.”

She also noted that all of the mentors in the program are a community. “If your mentee has a question and you’re unsure of the best answer, you can reach out to your fellow mentors to get their opinions.”

“My mentees inspire me and I know they’re going to make amazing changes for this world!”

Ready to help guide a young person as they navigate towards their future? Sign up to be a mentor today!