Alumni

Stay connected! Tilburg University facilitates strong ties among graduates and between graduates and their school or graduate associations.

Mentorship

What is a Tilburg University Alumni mentor?

As a mentor you help a student prepare for the labor market. You share your own experiences as a Tilburg University student as well as your professional experience. This way you contribute to the success of the students, not only at Tilburg University, but also in their future careers.

Alumni control the amount of time to volunteer and how often and how (via mail, phone, Skype, in person) they would like to be in contact with the student(s). 

Back to top

Why would you want to be a mentor?

  • To support the current generation of students.
  • To stay connected with the university and your study program.
  • To give back to the university.
  • You can learn from coaching students.
  • It is fun to coach/advise current students!

Back to top

As a mentor you can have different roles:

Motivator: Motivate the student by expressing your confidence in the student’s capabilities. Encourage him/her to try new things and take on new challenges.

Resource: Teach the student how he/she can build a network of professional contacts and also how to maintain these contacts. Introduce the student to new people, let them discover new places or give them new ideas.

Supporter: Encourage an open and honest dialogue. Listen and react to the needs of the student.

Coach: Contribute to the development of the student. And make sure he/she commits his-/herself to realistic and feasible goals.

The student-mentor relationship

In order to achieve a good mentor relationship there has to be mutual respect. Both parties will have to make their best effort to develop the relationship. An open mind, respect and adhering to the agreements are essential. In an ideal situation, the relationship between a student and his/her mentor will be of added value for both.

Back to top

Matching process: the student takes the initiative

  1. Students can register themselves by filling in the registration form.
  2. Next, students can review anonymous profiles of alumni mentors and select 3 preferences.
  3. The request is forwarded to the mentor of the first preference.
  4. When the mentor accepts the request, the student receives the name and contact information of the mentor. Next, the student takes the initiative to get in touch.
  5. When the student’s request is denied (for whatever reason), the student will be notified and can start looking for new possible mentors.
Back to top

Tips – How to be a great mentor

  • Dedication: Time and motivation to be available is important. Of course, there can be scheduling conflicts. If so, make sure to communicate this with the student in time and propose alternatives.
  • Proactive: Take initiative in making contact. Students can be somewhat shy or uncomfortable, so try to make it easier for them, even though the program is student-driven.
  • Show your interest: It is easier to get involved with a student, when you know their personal interests and inspirations.
  • Tell stories: Students are interested in your student experiences. What did students do back then, or what kind of classes where taught? What was important, difficult, and what did you have trouble with? They can learn from your stories. Besides, it is just fun to share stories.
  • Different view: As a mentor you have a more distant view on the options and challenges that students face. This way you will be able to provide a fresh outlook on different matters, this can be extremely helpful for the student.
  • Give advice: Propose different ideas. Let the student know your thoughts (without telling them what to do). Someone else’s thought process can help a student improve his/her decision framework.
  • Encourage them: Almost all students experience difficult periods, either at home or at university. You can remain positive, encourage them and keep supporting them by offering a ‘more experienced’ perspective.
  • Look for common interests: The relationship will improve when you find common interests (and there are always more than you think.)
  • Respect the student

Back to top