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First-Gen Mentor Program

CBUnited and Career Services are launching the First-Gen Mentoring program. Students will gain professional development and career direction while fostering a relationship with a CBU alumnus that was also a first-generation college student. Students will be able to discuss any concerns or challenges they face as a first-generation college student at CBU while gaining support, direction and connectivity from their mentor.

Program Components

  1. This 9 month (two semester) pilot program matches CBU First-Generation students with CBU alumni who are currently employed in their field of study/career interest area, providing an opportunity to engage in networking and professional development events and leadership training.
  2. Mentors and Mentees will attend 2 Leadership/Networking events per year specifically coordinated for the First-Generation Mentor Program.
  3. Mentees will attend 4 professional development programs (via the “First Impressions Series” sponsored by Career Services) per year (2 per semester).
  4. Mentors and Mentees will meet, in addition to the two campus events, 4 times a year (two times per semester).   Possible meeting options might include a meeting/shadow day at the mentor’s place of business, lunch meetings, or on-campus meetings. 
  5. Mentors must “check-in” with their mentees once per month via email/phone.
  6. Mentors and Mentees must attend the annual “kick-off” event and celebration “graduation” dinner at the end of the program.

Role of a Mentor

CBU Alumni chosen as mentors in the CBU First-Generation Mentor Program are experienced professionals in the Memphis area that were first-generation college students while at CBU. These individuals are committed to supporting the holistic development of our First-Generation students and preparing them for a successful transition from college to career.  Mentors will help students succeed by sharing their personal stories and experiences, as well as challenging the student to think more critically and have an increased level of self-awareness.   A mentor should serve as a coach, advocate, and role model for their mentee.

Responsibilities of a Mentor

  • Attend Leadership/Networking sessions with Mentor (one per semester)
  • Maintain contact with student and manage the development of the relationship
  • Hold student accountable for their full participation in the program
  • Maintain flexible schedule to spend time with your student outside of the leadership sessions/programs
  • Estimated time commitment of the program: approximately 1 to 2 hours per month

Benefits for Mentors

  • Continued leadership education through guest speaker series
  • Networking opportunities with other alumni and business leaders 
  • Personal relationship with an undergraduate student
  • Talent pool for recruitment efforts
  • Making a difference in a student’s life

Benefits for Mentees

  • Leadership training and professional guidance specifically for first-generation college students
  • Networking opportunities with professional leaders in the City of Memphis
  • Development of a personal relationship with a mentor
  • Potential opportunities for employment and internship
  • Professional etiquette coaching 


Submit an application to Career Services through CareerLinX.

Submit an application to the CBU Alumni Office below.

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