Mentor a Student

Make a difference

Support the development of an aspiring professional by participating in the iSchool's Professional Mentor Program. The program runs during the fall and spring semesters and matches iSchool students with professional mentors in information science professions, particularly public, academic, corporate, government, and school libraries. Mentors will be matched with one student per semester to participate in three half-hour video conference meetings throughout the semester. 

Mentoring-Ajit & Chris
Ajit Dhobale and iSchool mentor Chris Lehman

What do mentors do?

  • Advise students on the job search
  • Provide suggestions on building a professional network
  • Critique resumés
  • Participate in mock interviews
  • Offer job shadowing

How can I participate?

If you have at least three years of professional experience, let us know you're interested by contacting Michele Plante, assistant director of employer relations, at mplante@illinois.edu. Mentors who work in special collections, archives, data science, UX, and knowledge management are especially needed.

As an iSchool student, Ajit Dhobale (MS '18) was mentored by Chris Lehman (MS '13), a senior system engineer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications who helps develop and maintain the central database and surrounding application code that facilitates access and use of the Blue Waters supercomputer by researchers from all over the world. Dhobale signed up for the mentor program for the chance to be paired with an experienced data science professional like Lehman. “The program was really fantastic,” said Dhobale, now a data scientist at Capitol One.

Student testimonials

  • "It's been very helpful for me as a person who recently changed careers and is just learning about the profession to get someone else's insight and encouragement on starting out in the field."
  • "My mentor gave very valuable feedback on my resumé, answered my questions, and was very enthusiastic about participating in the program and talking to me."
  • "The best part of the program was getting to make a connection with an experienced professional whose career path I admire and aim to emulate."
Leora Siegel

My experiences over the past two decades as a librarian have provided insight into the profession, and I'm happy to share my knowledge if it can benefit a student or new grad or new professional, figuring out the path they wish to take.

Leora Siegel (MS '91), iSchool mentor and senior director of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lenhardt Library

If you are interested or have questions about the mentoring program, contact me.

Michele Plante
Michele Plante, Assistant Director of Employer Relations