Newly established program connects undergraduates with civil engineering grads
Oftentimes the best way to learn about the field you plan to enter is from a professional that is already there.
In addition to preparing its students for careers through education and internship opportunities, the Lyles School of Civil Engineering has also developed a mentorship program to match its undergraduates with alumni. This newly-established mentorship program aims to both better equip students with real-world knowledge and offer its alumni another opportunity to reconnect with their alma mater.
Kathy Heath, program administration manager, said the mentorship program largely came together after speaking with several alumni — all of whom mentioned that they wished such a program was in place when they were still students.
“Many of the companies they work for have mentorship programs established — but it’s for new hires and senior employees,” Heath said. “They wanted a program for students who still had questions and decisions to make before they chose their profession. And they wanted to help out their school and future Purdue contemporaries.”
In 2021, the school kicked off its pilot program where it swiftly received more than a dozen requests from students to participate.
“It was a very encouraging sign,” Heath said. “We have learned quite a bit over the past several months and have slowly begun to open the program up even further.”
One of the mentor/mentee pairs consists of undergraduate Tyler Sylvia and alumni Bill Bailey, president of Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc.
“I heard about the program from a friend who said it was really helping them out,” Sylvia said. “I mentioned that I’d like to find a way to speak with someone currently in the industry as I prepare to graduate this spring so I can feel as prepared as possible. I’m very happy this program exists. I just wish I could have joined it even earlier.”
Bailey echoed Sylvia’s praises for the program and said he looks forward to seeing it develop further in 2022.
“This program is not just beneficial to the students but to the mentors as well,” Bailey said. “It provides you with an opportunity to reflect on what brought you to where you are now and what helped you succeed. This is a great program and I look forward to seeing even greater involvement — especially from our younger alumni. I think they would serve as the best mentors as they will have some of the more relatable experiences to share with these students.”
Enrollment in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering Mentorship Program is open. Email Kathy Heath at email@example.com to participate.