There is renewed energy across campus around creating alumni-student connections throughout the student experience at Duke. The Alumni-Student Mentorship Program was developed by the Nicholas School Alumni Council Fellows to provide students with the ability to build professional skills and connect with alumni working in their field of interest. The program also aims to foster new relationships and re-connect alumni with Duke and the Nicholas School.

Program Benefits

For Mentees

As mentees, students build professional skills, including:

  • guidance on general or specific professional areas
  • answers about being a working professional
  • advice on early career development strategies
  • guidance on navigating networking and organizational settings

For Alumni Mentors

As mentors, there are many benefits, including:

  • creating a stronger connection to students and the school
  • having access to innovative thinkers
  • having the opportunity to strengthen leadership skills
  • having the opportunity to make the difference in the life of a current NSOE student

Program Structure

The mentorship process is designed to be structured yet flexible to allow for a progressive development of the mentor-mentee relationship. A minimum of three full sessions is expected as part of the commitment to participate in the program. There is the opportunity to have additional sessions beyond the first three sessions, and micro-engagements (quick conversations to check-in or ask questions) are highly encouraged.

Throughout the course of the program, participants should expect to receive regular communication from the Alumni Council Fellows regarding communication expectations and feedback gathering. Given that this is a new program, participants are also expected to provide essential feedback to help improve the quality of the program for subsequent years.

Commitment Expectations

Students Mentees will:

  • Participate in at least three sessions with your mentor
  • Use clear, concise, and responsive communication with your mentor
  • Maintain a professional relationship with your mentor
  • Appropriately represent the Nicholas School and Duke University

Alumni Mentors will:

  • Participate in at least three sessions with your mentee
  • Be a role model and provide acceptance, encouragement, and moral support
  • Share career and job experience while highlighting important industry and sector trends
  • Facilitate professional development and encourage your mentee to seek appropriate knowledge and resources

Get Involved

Interested in participating in the Alumni-Student Mentorship program? Contact Katie O'Grady, Development Project Coordinator, at