Industrial Mentorship Program

Mentor Program

MRSEC students have the opportunity to participate in our Industrial Mentorship Program that will kick off on Industry Day, October 17, 2019. The structure of the mentoring program will be such to allow for individual goals to be set and met within each mentor/mentee pair with the commitment being a monthly 1 hour (or less) meeting (can be in person, virtual, or by phone) from October – April, or as schedules allow. During these calls/meetings, Industry mentors will work with the students on specific topics of interest as set by the student, and could include some of the following topics below. If schedules allow, and interest exists, we also encourage mentees to schedule site visits of their mentors’ companies to enable them to gain a broader perspective of that particular industry.

Monthly Meeting Topics (examples)

  • Map the next steps in their career
  • Identify job opportunities
  • Work with them on interpersonal skills and professional communication
  • Provide perspective on industry trends
  • Review their resume and/or CV
  • Practice interviewing
  • And any other topics of interest

Possible outcomes of participating in this program (for the student) could be: securing an internship, learning more about that particular company, taking a field visit to the mentor company, developing a network, etc. A closing program will be held in April as a way to bring industry mentors, mentees, faculty and staff together to highlight successes of the program and provide feedback for future years. While participation in the closing program is encouraged, it is not a requirement. Closing Program will likely be virtual. Please email Abbey Stanzione (abigail.stanzione@austin.utexas.edu) if you are interested in participating as a mentor.

Testimonials from past mentees:

"The MRSEC Industrial Mentorship program really gave me a more concrete idea of what working in industry after the PhD would be like. I got to tour the Dow facilities and meet with employees (most of them have PhDs) at different stages in their careers (2-5 years out of the PhD, 10-12 years at Dow R&D, manager, technical fellow, director). The monthly meetings with my mentor allowed me to explore topics of interest and helped me determine my career path post-graduation." – Camila Saez (worked with a mentor at Dow Chemical Company)

 
"The best part of the mentoring system, to me, was that I had a professional expert that could provide perspective that is often missing in academia. I had my mentor during my second year, so I was not as focused on trying to form a connection for an internship or some other form of employment as much as I was on getting my project up and off the ground. I felt more at ease asking my mentor certain questions than my advisors. For instance, since I was not reporting to my mentor as an employee, I felt comfortable asking him what a reasonable timeline for my project would be (rather than the magic 6 months that advisors estimate for everything). Of course I also had all of the more generic benefits such as networking, seeing different career paths, developing soft skills, communicating my research to someone who is not necessarily familiar with my work, etc." – William Sullivan (worked with a mentor at NIST)
 
"The program was very beneficial for me. In addition to the monthly calls, I was able to tour Sandia, see the advanced facilities and how the groups work together. I gave an invited talk and met with many investigators who I discussed potential collaborative work with for my summer internship." – Jennifer Imbrogno (worked with a mentor at Sandia National Labs)

"Participating in the mentor program has given me first-hand insight into the prospects of a career as a scientist in a national lab. My mentor not only shared his experience and knowledge as a scientist, but also gave me useful general advice that I will put to good use when looking for my next job"  - Martin Rodriguez-Vega (worked with a mentor at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab)