College Students: You need a mentor!

In 2014, Gallup and Purdue University surveyed more than 30,000 graduates to find out whether they are engaged in their work and thriving in their overall well-being. This was the largest study of its kind and demonstrated that “Life in College Matters for Life After College”.

The entire study is absolutely worth your time (link in comments) but the thing about it that struck me the most is that only 22% of students in the study reported that they have a mentor. Yet– students with a mentor are 2.2x more likely to be engaged at work and 1.7x more likely to be thriving in all areas of well-being.

Despite low  engagement, students are not getting great guidance at the career center. Only 17% of those who graduated from 2010 to 2016 said they found their career centers to be “very helpful”.

Ironically, I have signed up to be a mentor EVERY SINGLE YEAR for the past 10 years through the formal mentorship program at my alma mater and I have never had a student contact me. Not a one. Students, alumni are an absolutely untapped resource at your disposal. Don’t waste an opportunity. Curious, how many of my connections are mentoring students? Did you have an alumni mentor in college? If so— what did you gain from the relationship?

Link to the comments on LinkedIn:


  • Sarah Johnston

    I’m a former corporate recruiter and industry “insider” who got tired of seeing talented high-achievers get passed over for opportunities because they did not have the right marketing documents or know how to position themselves in interviews. I have relocated multiple times across the country as a “trailing spouse” and have had to execute job searches in completely cold markets (where I literally knew no one!) I have been named a LinkedIn Top Voice in the career space in 2019, HR Weekly’s Top 100 Most Influential People in HR, named the owner of the “best resume writing firm for experienced executives” by Balance Careers and a “top follow” by JobScan in 2019 and 2020.

Sarah Johnston

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