The UIC Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health launched an alumni-student mentor program in Fall 2016. All second-year MPH students in maternal and child health programs are matched with a mentor for the duration of their MPH program. Students gain knowledge about the public health job market and the MCH field while receiving advice about professional and personal development opportunities. There is a strong focus on developing networking skills usable in pursuing specific career goals and interests. This program increases students’ self-awareness, and builds job-seeking skills and prepares them for their journey as they move toward becoming leaders in the MCH workforce.
Alumni and current students fill out a short application form to aid in the matching process. If you are interested in participating in this program as an alumni mentor please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The alumni mentors are graduates of maternal and child health degree programs at UIC and have at least two years of work experience.
Alumni mentors are required to attend a fall semester orientation event virtually or in person and meet with their mentees twice a semester (either by phone or in person). The program also hosts workshops that focus on management training and career development, in which some alumni serve as guest speakers and other alumni as part of a resource panel. All alumni are welcome to attend all events, but these are not required.
Second-year MPH students are required to attend the fall orientation, meet with their mentors twice a semester and attend at least 1-2 professional or career development workshops each year.
Beginning in 2017, the Center has been pairing an increasing number of second-year MPH students with UIC undergraduate public health majors entering their fourth year and interested in maternal and child health, inviting them to participate in an MCH Undergraduate Mentor Program. This program provides both professional development workshops and team meetings. Mentorship teams complete a mentorship agreement in which they detail their expectations and create career development goals for the academic year. Both group and one-on-one meetings focus on the individual needs of the undergraduate mentees, ranging from assistance with basic skills such as resume building and using LinkedIn to formulating career and academic goals. The MPH mentor gains valuable experience in mentoring as well as learns how to assess the needs of early career colleagues. The Center provides a stipend for MCH graduate mentors and also offers mentor-mentee pairs a small budget to attend professional development events.
Third year undergraduate public health students attend an informational event about the mentorship program, inviting them to apply before they begin their fourth year of study. Interested undergraduates are asked to submit a personal statement that briefly outlines their needs, interests and goals to email@example.com with the subject line “Mentorship Program Interest.” Center faculty and staff invite selected second-year MPH students to participate in this program as mentors, based on faculty assessments of performance and interest during the first year of the MPH program.