Student Life

How the Global Mentoring Program Gives Students a Step Up


Students at The American University of Paris benefit from following in the footsteps of our community of over 20,000 alumni who live and work in more than 145 countries worldwide. Many alumni hold high-level roles in international organizations and multinational companies, and all of them have unique perspectives on what it means to live, study and work across cultures, languages and disciplines.

One of the main ways in which students engage with alumni is through AUP’s Global Mentoring Program: a long-established student-support initiative that puts current degree-seeking students, beginning with sophomores and all the way through to graduate students, in touch with alumni professionals. Alumni are eager to volunteer their time because they maintain a strong connection to the University’s values of openness, tolerance and international cooperation and want to help a new generation of students thrive in cross-border environments.

The program, which runs twice a year over the course of a single academic semester, draws on the close-knit nature of the AUP community to foster intimate, lasting professional relationships between students and alumni. Conversations are informal and take place either in person, if the alumnus or alumna is in Paris, or over video call. Students set the pace and agenda of these meetings, meaning they can focus on the topics that are most important to them. Over 90% of student mentees report that the program is a valuable experience.

Students benefit from exploring new perspectives on what it means to search for meaningful international work, in exchange for taking the lead in scheduling meetings and outlining the objectives for the semester. Alumni mentors provide their perspectives on topics like networking, interviewing and resume-writing, while guiding students in setting and achieving their academic, professional and personal goals. Wherever possible, students are matched with alumni in their desired field or who share a key passion or interest.

One of the program’s annual traditions is the Lunch and Learn kick-off event, which this year took place on February 7. Alumni professionals met over lunch with students who had signed up for the program to discuss their experiences of the working world and provide a taste of what mentorship feels like. This year, the two invited speakers were Clara Rachel Eybalin Casséus '06 and G'09, an independent researcher and associate professor in the field of sustainable development, memory and critical migration, and Stephen Kooshak ’98, a retired UN international civil servant with over two decades of experience in peace-building and democratic governance.

“We had a fabulous pair of speakers from different walks of life who were able to share their wisdom and professional experience,” said Rachel Vatelia, a graduate student studying for an MA in Diplomacy and International Law who attended the Lunch and Learn. “I learned that there are many different paths, career-wise, to achieving one's goals.”

For more information about the Global Mentoring Program, including how to sign up next semester as either a student or an alumnus, visit the AUP website.