First-Generation Mentor Program

Finding a Mentor

The First-Generation Mentor Program provides you with exposure to the working world and focuses on your professional and career development. In this program, undergraduate students are paired with USC alumni who were also first-generation college students.

What You Will Gain

You will gain professional development and career direction while fostering a relationship with a person who can be a mentor and role model. You will be able to discuss any concerns or challenges you face as a first-generation college student at USC while gaining support, direction, and connectivity from your mentor.

The Expectations

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. Mentees are expected to serve as mentors once graduated. Selected participants must attend a mandatory orientation.

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. Communication with your mentor is important–it’s a two-way street. Please do not expect them to only reach out to you to set up meetings!

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

Program Eligibility

Candidates must:

  • Maintain good academic standing.
  • Be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at USC.
  • Have completed one full semester of classes at USC, with the exception of first-semester transfer students.
  • Remain on campus for both fall and spring semesters (cannot study abroad for the year of mentorship; December graduates are also ineligible).

Application Process

Applications for the 2018-2019 program are closed. If you are interested in applying for the 2019-2020 cohort, please check back in August 2019.

USC Alumni

If you were a first-generation college student and would like to become a mentor to one of our undergraduate students, click here to learn more.

Selection Process

Students are selected through an application and interview process. Applications are typically due in mid-September, and interviews will occur in late September. Selected mentees will be notified via email in early October. There is no minimum GPA requirement. Students are expected to demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills.


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