Hone Your Skills with the Experts: NITRAA Mentorship Program

Hone Your Skills with the Experts: NITRAA Mentorship Program

Shibani Sabat Mahamaya Mishra | Oct 19, 2020

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If you don't know where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.

Throughout college life, students come across crossroads at every other turn and are unable to choose what's best for them due to their lack of experience. Hence, it becomes vital that they get advice from people who have faced the very same dilemma in their student life and the hugely competitive world beyond it.

National Institute of Technology Rourkela Alumni Association (NITRAA) in collaboration with NIT Rourkela recently launched its Mentorship Program to facilitate career mentoring by providing first-hand knowledge about life in the workforce and industrial awareness to mentees while helping the mentors to evolve their own thinking and deepen skills. A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. No doubt, be it a student or an alumnus everyone needs career mentoring.

NITRAA And Its Initiatives

An organisation's alumni are the reflection of its past, representation of its present and a link to its future. Today, educational institutes are changing the way they interact with their alumni community. An engaged alumni network allows the students of the institute to get assistance in employability, skills, support, mentorship and what not!

NIT Rourkela Alumni Association boasts of having a broad gamut of 25000+ alumni across the globe in various esteemed positions in differed sectors including industries, research institutions, academics, bureaucracy, entrepreneurship, and many more. With such expertise, it is always helpful if it can be mobilized to guide young alumni and students who would like to tread the same path. Hence, a powerful tool was planned and designed to establish a strong relationship between alumni-alumni and alumni-students with the initiation of the mentorship programme.

One of the major initiatives taken by NITRAA includes the 'Leadership Conclave' where alumni with professional excellence share their vision and ideas. NITRAA also keeps the alumni database updated to accommodate the most recent details of all alumni.

What Is The NITRAA Mentorship Program About?

The Alumni-Student Mentorship Program is one of the flagship programs launched by the NITR Alumni Association, which intends to create a platform to foster essential mentoring connections between alumni and current students of the institute. The students would receive active guidance and support from NIT Rourkela alumni who would act as their mentors. A mentor serves as an instructor and professional guide to the world, for a less experienced person. The goal of mentoring is to assist the students in gaining the skills and confidence to explore their areas of interest. The extensive knowledge of alumni would enable students to progress their careers and get the most out of the pathways and prospects available in their respective fields.

The objective of the program:

The program aims at developing good professional relationships among alumni and students. It creates a powerhouse of alumni who act as role models. It is a one-stop platform for the alumni and students seeking career progressions or career transition support.

Who can be a mentor?

A mentor is an alumnus of NIT Rourkela who is a part diagnostician and a part guide. A mentor has a strong domain and is willing to share knowledge, experience and insights, and should have a desire to support the alma mater. A mentor should have the expected commitment of time and effort to the mentoring relationship.

Who can be a mentee?

A mentee can be an alumnus or current student of NIT Rourkela who is looking for mentoring support in career progression, and is willing to ask for assistance and explore different paths and perspectives, and is open and receptive to learning new ideas.

The Perks Of Establishing The Program

The benefits of establishing alumni-student mentoring programs are immense. Students have the opportunity to talk to professionals who were once in their shoes. They have the chance to interact with professionals, ask questions, observe the workplace, and learn more about the knowledge and skills needed at work. The mentors can provide career guidance, advice on salient courses and fieldwork, guidance to skills and tools that are required in order to thrive in today’s world, and opportunities to make professional contacts. A few benefits of being a mentee are:

  • Personal guidance from an experienced alumnus
  • Improve communication and interpersonal skills
  • Promote personal and professional development

An excellent mentorship program has the potential to benefit mentors and mentees mutually. Students will gain crucial insights, and the alumni will feel more connected to their alma mater.

HOW TO AVAIL THE PROGRAM AS A MENTEE?

Here is a step-by-step guide to registering for the program:

  • Go to NITRAA official website by clicking on the link: https://www.nitraa.org/.
  • Click on The Student Mentorship Program under the “Alumni Assist” section following which a pdf file will be opened.
  • Click on the “Mentee” hyperlink in the pdf following which you will be directed to the enrolment form to fill.
  • Fill and submit the form after which the mentorship core team will approach you via email.

In The Words Of The Alumni

Mr Asutosh Nayak, one of the members of the core team (alumni) said the following when asked about his expectations from the program,

The program is going to enhance the career of mentee as they receive guidance from experienced alumni which would facilitate to plan their career accordingly. Be it academics, research area or the industrial awareness or entrepreneurship, our alumni have been well placed in all these fields across various geographies. As the mentorship core team, we are trying to build such an enabling ecosystem where the engagement of mentor-mentee can happen.

NITRAA works towards strengthening of the major pillars of the alma mater. The pillars considered are students, faculty, institute authority and the alumni. If these pillars are well connected and strongly bonded, there is success to the entire community as a whole. That’s why NITRAA is working hard to strengthen the link between alumni-students, alumni-faculties, alumni-institute, and alumni-alumni. We are also trying to improve the placement scenario, provide financial assistance to students and sponsor some good projects that can be done by the students.

He further added his message for the students:

Try to take advantage of the experience, skills, and knowledge our expertise alumni have. The mentorship program is one of the most powerful tools, where we can address a lot of these issues as our outreach becomes wider and wider. We can reach to the students as well as many alumni and try to bring them on a common platform. That’s the whole idea of this program, and we hope everyone to utilize the efforts being taken by NITRAA.

Mr Shreetam Dash, a core member of the Mentorship program from the alumni side, expressed his views and expectations:

The mentorship program is a unique experience for each and everyone associated with it. It is a boon for the students who can avail knowledge from learned professionals who have done a lot in their respective field. The mentors are also feeling a sense of satisfaction by infusing young minds with great thoughts.

We are expecting that with the right mindset, both the mentees and mentors can enrich their knowledge base and bring a drastic change in each other. We know that every student has a question about the future and how different he wants his life to unfold. These questions can only be answered by someone who has seen and has gone through the same sequence of life. A good mentor is not the one who tells you the answer to your questions but rather who helps you begin your journey by showing the path one step at a time. So, students should use this opportunity to learn, unlearn and relearn new things and life experience. They would be able to network with our strong alumni base and can know about newer opportunities. Students who want to go for higher studies or want to change their stream, they can get guidance from the mentors who have tried and have achieved greatness in their respective field. Being in a premier institution, you have an opportunity to interact with great minds who were once on the same campus.

He further added,

It is a humble request to each and every student out there to come forward and be a part of this program. This will change your outlook on life, and I sincerely hope that you reach your zenith of success.

Another core team member, Mr F.M. Pati had the following to say,

We expect to help or guide the students by leveraging our skills, knowledge and experience. Student community should feel privileged to have this opportunity of getting such guidance and make the best out of it, to shape their career.

Mr. Vineet Bhatt, a current mentor, said,

Mentoring is a well-established process to help individuals achieve their potential. Mentoring is necessary for making significant transitions in knowledge, work, or thinking. Mentors who are role models have the expertise and rich experience, which provides their mentees with support and encouragement for the mentee’s professional progression. It is a trusting relationship where mentees can discuss issues and concerns in confidence, and benefit from their mentor’s advice and experience. Overall, both the mentor and the mentee emerge wiser at the end of the relationship.

The Alumni-Student Mentoring Program is typically designed to assist students in learning about careers, meeting professionals, and successfully transitioning into a career. The program has been running smoothly with a dedicated team of 25 members comprising alumni and students from various backgrounds. As of now, about 30 alumni have registered as a mentor, and about 80 young alumni and students have registered themselves as mentees. The core team has the target to match 100 mentor-mentee pairs by the end of Dec 2020. The forge of a stable relationship between the alumni and the student would mean the beginning of an era of growth and progress in all life areas. 

Team Monday Morning wishes NITRAA great success for the Mentorship Program and the future endeavours.

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