In celebration of National Mentorship Month, the USC Career Center is highlighting alumni stories that demonstrate the power of connections. Read more about Kevin’s mentorship story!
January is National Mentorship Month! In celebration of National Mentorship Month, the USC Career Center is highlighting alumni stories that demonstrate the power of connections. Alumni on USC’s Trojan Network exemplify how one conversation or connection can positively impact Trojans’ personal or professional life.
This week we are featuring Kevin Elzie, Program Analyst at the U.S. Department of Energy. Kevin received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 2011 from the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letter, Arts, and Sciences.
We hope Kevin’s mentorship story inspires you to connect with other Trojans and leverage the power of the Trojan Family!
Q: List four words you would use to describe your mentorship.
Kevin: Growth, balance, action-oriented, high-performance
Q: What opportunities has this connection moved you towards?
Kevin: My mentor pushed me toward two promotions, a lateral career move, a relocation to a new state, and graduate school to earn my Ph.D. In the three years under his mentorship, my household income has increased by almost 400%, and I am now one year into my four-year Ph.D. I always look forward to our quarterly conversations and am excited to see what the future holds.
Q: How did this connection help you face a challenge, obstacle or roadblock?
Kevin: My mentor primarily helps me overcome mental blocks by challenging me to shift my perspective. He is about ten years older than me, holds multiple professional degrees, was a previous dean at an R1 university, is a successful entrepreneur, engages in politics, and truly cares for his family. Whenever I struggle, he shares critical tips he has learned along his lifelong journey.
Q: When you think about this connection, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
Kevin: Excellence in all areas of life.
Q: What advice would you give to USC students as they look for prospective mentors?
Kevin: You will get out of the relationship what you put into it, so be proactive. Take time to reflect deeply and prepare for the meeting. Send your thoughts to your mentor at least 24 hours before the meeting, so they have time to think and prepare. Mentors have a lot of experience and want to share it all with you, but they only have a limited time. So, they will only share what they believe is relevant.
Want to hear from more alumni? Read last week’s Mentorship Month Alumni feature Patrick Becker ’08, Senior Producer, CBS Evening News