First-Generation Mentor Program

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Becoming a First-Generation Mentor

The First-Generation Mentor Program aims to connect first-generation undergraduate students with first-generation Trojan alumni. Our goal is to provide these students with exposure to the working world and a focus on professional and career development.

We are seeking mentors who are passionate about supporting undergraduate first-generation students as they navigate through their USC experience. You know first-hand what it is like to be a first-generation student at USC, so why not apply those experiences to become a professional role model and provide helpful career guidance.

Student Impact

The mentor-mentee relationship that is fostered throughout the First-Generation Mentor Program gives students the opportunity to learn from someone with whom they can relate to and provides mentors the opportunity to share their insight and advice to ensure student success. Building a meaningful mentor-mentee relationship has proven to be greatly beneficial to our participating students:

 “I believe that a strong mentor-mentee relationship includes open communication, trust, and acceptance. With my mentor, I feel like there was no question I couldn’t ask. She actually invited so many more questions, and then went beyond that with extra advice as someone who has more experience.”

“My mentor was always super open and comfortable and really reached out to find people that would be able to further mentor me as a pre-med student. She always encouraged me, celebrated my accomplishments, and gave good ideas on how to do little things to help me prepare for grad school.”

“My mentor reached out to various colleagues so that I could hold informational interviews with them. She provided me with resources in order to facilitate the conversation. She gave it her all and helped me in any way she could.”


The program requires a commitment of one school year (October April). Throughout each semester, we will hold once-a-month workshops that all mentees and mentors are required to attend. These events will focus on career development and allow an opportunity for all program participants to network and interact as a group. As a mentor, you have an important role promoting professional development for your mentees. One way this is accomplished is through participating in the mandatory workshops for all mentors and mentees.

Workshops will take place at USC on the following evenings:

  • Wednesday, October 24, 2018
  • Wednesday, November 14, 2018
  • Wednesday, December 5, 2018 (this event is optional, as it is the first day of finals!)
  • Wednesday, January 23, 2019
  • Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2019
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Outside of our monthly mandatory events, mentors and mentees are expected to meet once per month for a professional activity. Suggested professional activities include reviewing resumes, drafting cover letters, practicing interview skills, touring the company site, and going out to eat. Before each event, you will receive notification of the month’s topic so you can also work on that specific topic with your mentee more deeply one-on-one if you so choose.

As a reminder, use your best judgment when engaging with students. Review our Non-Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Guidelines for policies on how to interact with students while developing a mentoring relationship. If an interaction is inappropriate or unprofessional, please notify us. We expect appropriate and professional engagement at all times.

Application Process

Our 2018 – 2019 program application is now closed. If you are interested in applying for the 2019-2020 program, please check back in June 2019.

If you have any questions, contact Gina Ibrahim at (213) 740-9654 or