The Herd is a "flash mentoring" program designed for alumni to provide short term, real-world exposure to fellow alumni, undergraduate students, and graduate students from Arts & Sciences, Engineering and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.
Flash mentoring is one-time or short-term mentoring centered around tactical meetings that provide timely knowledge for participants. And, of course, mentors and mentees can also develop lasting relationships.
Visit the Networking section of our site for more information, including tips for career conversations (a.k.a. informational interviewing), questions to ask networking contacts, sample networking emails, and more.
Alumni Mentor/Mentee FAQs
Who is eligible to be a mentor or a mentee in The Herd?
Mentors: Alumni from Arts & Sciences, Engineering and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts can join as mentors.
Mentees: Alumni, undergraduate students, and graduate students from Arts & Sciences, Engineering and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.
Alumni have the dual benefit of being able to offer advice and/or seek advice, and they can update these settings easily.
What happens when I sign up?
First you’ll complete your profile. Signing up with LinkedIn will automatically fill in some of your info.
Mentors will set availability preferences to indicate how much time they can commit to the mentor role.
Alumni and students who join the program to seek mentoring will be able to view alumni profiles and reach out to ask questions or request meetings.
You can also answer community questions. All users can use the Discussion tab to pose questions anonymously to mentors. Check out the Resources tab for podcasts, articles, and videos you might find interesting to discuss with your mentee.
What’s the time commitment?
There is no strict time commitment to be an active mentor or mentee in The Herd. When you connect with your mentee, it is up to you both to decide the appropriate level of time commitment. Your engagement could be a one-time conversation or you may wish to continue for a longer period of time.
What are Groups in The Herd?
Groups in The Herd are open communities of mentors and mentees (alumni and students) who share an interest in a particular career field, belong to an affinity group, or share a social identity. Groups are managed by Alumni Relations, Career Center, university staff and alumni volunteers. Questions about Groups can be sent to Aime Macdonald, Assistant Director of Shared Interest Groups, Alumni Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why should I become a mentor in The Herd?
Alumni become mentors for a variety of reasons. It feels great to pay it forward and help Tufts students and fellow alumni unlock their potential. You can also learn from your mentee (or even find the next hire for your team). Lastly, you are sure to build coaching and leadership skills along the way.
What should mentors (advice or information providers) do/not do?
respond promptly to requests from students and alumni to connect and be clear about what they’re willing to do (including time they have available and kind of support they’re able to give)
actively listen and help mentees arrive at conclusions by themselves
share industry knowledge and expertise and coach mentees on particular skills/competencies
share their own stories while respecting the differences between mentees’ dreams and mentors’ reality
create a safe and trusting space for the delivery of information and feedback
have all the answers for their mentee
initiate all contact with their mentee
provide jobs or internship for the mentee
try to offer support beyond the bounds of the mentoring relationship (e.g., as a financial advisor or professional counselor)
Two important notes:
- If at any point, mentors are no longer able to or want to participate in the program, they will notify all mentees about their situation as soon as possible.
- The Herd strives to maintain the utmost standard of professionalism in mentor-mentee relationships. If ever concerned by the unprofessional behavior of a mentor or mentee, participants should inform Tufts University Career Center staff at email@example.com immediately.
I’ve connected with a mentee. What happens next?
The student/alum mentee is expected to make first contact with you, and it's up to you and your mentee to decide how involved you want the mentoring experience to be. Your engagement could be a one-time conversation or you may wish to continue for a longer period of time. It is important that both you and your mentee set limits surrounding the mentoring relationship, e.g., methods of communication (email, phone, in person) and how often communication will occur.
How do students join?
Current students join The Herd on the Career Center website.