Mentorships Help Students Gain Experience

When it comes to building your future, mentorships can offer many benefits. Firstly, they provide rich professional development. Secondly, mentees can improve communication skills. Thirdly, they can help build valuable professional relationships.

UMBC’s I/O Psychology Graduate Program give students an opportunity to work with experts. These experts have their finger on the industry’s pulse. They provide great value through their insights and experiences. Additionally, they’ve traveled the path and know the terrain. They understand how to navigate it with skill. The insights they’ve gained through their careers are a gift to someone entering the field.


mentorshipsUMBC’s I/O Psychology mentorship program helps prepare students for career success. Its mentorships are what sets them apart from others. Members from the Advisory Board serve as mentors to the program’s students. They offer a collaborative, beneficial experience.

“Our mentorship program is an outgrowth of our advisory board,” says Dr. Elliot Lasson, Graduate Program Director. “Students will select members of the advisory board with whom they feel they will benefit the most.”

A Successful Relationship

One such example of a successful mentorship was between mentor, Wendy Merrill, and student, Anne Harrelson. Wendy is the founder and chief rainmaker at Strategy Horse Consulting Group and offered Anne an inside look at success. Together, they formed a productive working relationship.

“I am self-taught in just about everything that I have done,” says Wendy Merrill. “I consider this to be both a blessing and a struggle. You see, I carry a “street MBA”. Essentially, what this means is that all of my experiences have created wisdom. But, I also had to suffer many battle scars to succeed. If I had been able to benefit from mentorships myself, I might have had an easier time. Perhaps even accomplished my goals a bit earlier and with less struggle.  This is what inspires me in every mentoring effort I make.”

With this type of motivation, Wendy offers an invaluable opportunity for students to observe, engage, and take away great skills.

Invaluable Opportunity

Anne Harrelson commented on her experience, citing the value of working with someone who has walked the walk and proven her ability.

“Wendy and I first met for an informational interview,” says Anne Harrelson. “She helped me to refine my understanding of my strengths. Then, she offered some advice on building confidence and creating a personal brand. I took her advice to heart, and with her permission, we kept in touch. From there, I think we both realized that we enjoyed collaborating with each other. We’ve found some new ways to do that. Ultimately, Wendy created a fellowship position at her company for me.”

Watch the magic unfold

The Benefits of Mentorships for Students

Overall, a mentorship can provide mentors the guidance necessary to take them to a new level in their career. There are many advantages to working with a seasoned professional.

  • Receives encouragement to navigate the landscape
  • Develops valuable connections within an industry
  • Learns how to face challenges and solve issues from someone knowledgeable
  • Gains an increase in self-confidence
  • Builds credibility
  • Encourages the creation of a personal brand

Mentorships with UMBC’s I/O Psychology Graduate Programs

The mentorship program is available to all students within the program. Typically, at the beginning of a semester, the students select their first, second, and third choices of a mentor. Program staff attempt to match them up with mentors based on those requests, to the extent possible. Generally, students meet with their mentors through “informational interviews” or “mentoring sessions”. The mentors will either meet with one or two students each semester on-site for a minimum of an hour. After that, mentors can decide if they want to continue with their relationship beyond that minimum level of commitment.

Additional Information

UMBC’s I/O Psychology Graduate Program is a unique, highly applied program. It provides graduate training focused on developing skills that are relevant in today’s job market. Also, it explores and integrates important topics including organizational behavioral management, human factors, and professional human resources practice. Furthermore, it helps students develop a professional portfolio while building strong relationships with faculty practitioners and industry professionals.

To learn more about the benefits of our I/O Pscyhology program, check out our upcoming info session.

Dennise CardonaDennise Cardona
Digital Content Specialist
UMBC, Division of Professional Studies

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