First-Generation Mentor Program – Mentor Application

Thank you for expressing interest in becoming a mentor for the 2019-2020 First-Generation Mentor Program. This program provides an opportunity for current first-generation college students to be paired with and mentored by alumni who were also the first in their family to go to college.

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. Event topics focus around professional development (e.g., networking, mock interviewing, etc.). Before each event, you will receive notification of the month’s topic so that you can work on that specific topic with your mentee more deeply one-on-one if you so choose.

Workshops will take place at USC on the following evenings:

  • Wednesday, October 30, 2019
  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019
  • Wednesday, December 4, 2019 (this event is optional with no programming attached, as finals are the following week!)
  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020
  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020
  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020
  • Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Please calendar these dates because we ask that all mentors and mentees attend the mandatory events.

NOTE: You may have noticed that times have not been specified. The application asks for your input on your week day and time preferences that we take into consideration before solidifying event dates/times. Currently, though, events are slated for Wednesday evenings (most likely between 6 and 8 pm) for consistency purposes. Parking and dinner are provided on event evenings.


Application Process


To participate as a mentor in the First-Generation Mentor Program, you must be:

  1. A first-generation Trojan alum. For the purposes of this program, we define first-generation as neither of your parents having obtained a degree from a four-year, post-secondary educational institution in the United States.
  2. Local to the Los Angeles area, and willing to commute to the USC campus at least once a month for our mandatory monthly events.
    • NOTE: If you are not local or able to commute to USC, consider signing up for the Career Network, so that you are still able to connect with other first-generation students and alumni seeking mentorship and connection, who may be local to your area or are open to virtual engagement. 
  3. Established in your professional career. Students are looking for advice and guidance from alumni who have a level of expertise in the professional world versus alumni who just recently graduated and are still new to transitioning into their career.

The application is a two-part process:

  1. If you have not done so already, sign up for USC’s Career Network, our exclusive online mentoring platform where alumni can share their career and industry-related experiences with students and other alumni.  USC students can connect with you for informational interviews, speed networking, or longer, semester-based mentorships.
    • NOTE: On your profile, make sure to select “I was a first generation college student at USC” under the Extra Activities section.
  2. Submit an online application form by clicking here, after you create or update your profile on USC’s Career Network.

Application deadline is Sunday, August 4, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.


What happens next?

1. New mentors and mentors who participated in the program prior to the 2017-2018 cohort will be asked for a phone interview during July or August.

    • This allows us to learn more about your experience as a first-generation student and professional, your academic and career journey, and what type of student you think you will have the best success working with.

2. Student mentee applications are due in mid-September, so matches will be determined in October after student interviews take place. You will be notified whether a successful mentee match was found via email during the first two weeks of October.

    • Matches are made based on academic/career interests alignment, as students are primarily looking for guidance in their career development. If you are not matched with a student, it is most likely due to being unable to find a suitable match.
    • We ask that if at any point you become aware of a scheduling conflict or reasons that make you unavailable to serve as a mentor, to reach out to Gina immediately. This is especially important before the matching process.
    • After you receive notification of a student mentee match, you will have three days to accept your role as a mentor.

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