Feeling burned out or unfulfilled at work? Mentoring others might be the perfect antidote. In fact, one recent study from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management found that giving back, versus receiving, provides longer-lasting happiness.
But finding connections and time in a busy schedule isn’t always easy. That’s where the Forever Utah Network becomes a valuable resource, says Karen Ashton BS’80, senior manager of networking and mentorship with U Alumni. “It’s a free online community exclusive to the U for alumni to share their academic and employment journey, explore new career opportunities, and build a stronger professional network—and help fellow U alumni and students do the same,” she notes.
The network now boasts more than 4,600 alums and 1,200 students, many of whom are looking for a little guidance. “We have these outstanding students who are just looking for a nudge in the right direction,” says Ashton. “Most of their requests could be addressed with a few short email messages.” And what may be a short time investment for an alum could profoundly benefit the students, she adds.
What kind of help are students asking for? “Simple things like advice for life after college, tips for grad school applications, and how to make networking less terrifying,” says Ashton. To sign up, visit forever.utah.edu and click “Join Now.” The prompts make account creation a breeze, and you’ll be able to select the type of mentoring you can offer.
“The filters are quite powerful,” says Ashton. “For example, students can sort for alums who are willing to help their specific major. And just scrolling through and seeing what alums with a similar major went on to accomplish professionally can provide valuable insight regarding potential careers for the student.” What’s more, the site includes resources with advice and training to be an effective mentor.
Mentoring enhances leadership skills, broadens perspectives, and provides purpose, says Kris Bosman BS’99, chief alumni relations officer at U Alumni. We have a chance to build a stronger, more connected alumni community through this free and easy-to-use tool, she adds. “Students and recent grads need help,” she remarks. “If I know anything about our alumni community, it’s that they are generous, kind, and want to give back. And here’s a simple and fulfilling way to do so.”
Visit forever.utah.edu and sign up or update your profile today.