In collaboration with the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) launched a pilot mentoring program in January to run through the spring semester. Retired and active duty AFSA members made up the majority of twenty-one mentors paired with students and recent graduates of international affairs programs from six different universities.
A survey of participating mentors and students indicated a general success, with both groups resoundingly endorsing the program (See the full results). Mentors appreciated the opportunity to share insight into a career in the Foreign Service, discuss different internship and career opportunities, and connect their “mentee” to resources and colleagues based on their interests. Mentors commented on the caliber and enthusiasm of the mentees. One mentor noted that if the student he worked with is representative of those trying to get into the State Department, “our future is bright”.
Mentees appreciated the opportunity to meet with Foreign Service professionals who provided real-world insight into the profession, culture, and various career paths within the international affairs community. Students commented on the patience and generosity of mentors who shared their knowledge, made connections with other professionals, and took time to provide constructive feedback on resumes and cover letters.
The pilot program also provided important lessons for future rounds of the program. Based on feedback received, FAC and AFSA are adjusting the sign-up process and will provide participants with more detailed mentor and mentee profiles to help them break the ice. The two groups will also encourage more virtual mentoring to connect mentors and mentees outside of Washington, DC.
The next mentoring round begins this fall. Registration for the 2019-2020 mentor program will run from late-August to late-September. Delta Phi Epsilon alumni and current students are strongly encouraged to participate. Learn more on our mentoring page.