“We’re going to go around the room now and I want all of the mentors to give their names, say what their backgrounds are and what they do,” said Sam Chappell, alumnus and President Emeritus/Governor and Development Committee Chair of the University of Michigan Club of Greater Washington, D.C., as he facilitated the networking event. “Now I want all of the mentees to introduce yourselves and just briefly tell us your backgrounds,” he continued.
“We want the mentors to sit no more than two at a table. We just want to space it out so that the mentees can easily find you and have the opportunity to mingle,” said University of Michigan alumnus Stephanie Mount, Chairperson of the Career Development Committee co-organizer of the event along with fellow alumnus Beth Weaver.
On June 24, 2015, the University of Michigan Alumni Club of Greater Washington, D.C. hosted a “speed mentoring” event. The event took place at the City Tavern Club in Georgetown. The event started 6:30 and lasted until 9:00 pm, and consisted of three phases; an arrival/meet and greet, a speed mentoring session, and then a final networking period with follow-up discussions held between mentors and mentees in a more informal format.
Prior to the function, the Washington DC chapter reached out to local alumni from all sectors who were willing to serve as mentors. At the meeting, new and seasoned alumni were given the opportunity to talk with mentors for a specified amount of time similar to the format of speed dating. Once time was up, mentees were encouraged to move to other tables to talk with other mentors about their careers and how to gain employment in their field of interest. Both mentors and mentees in attendance had backgrounds in STEM fields, law, art history, marketing and sales, public policy, and non-profit organizations.
“Now from some of the conversations that I’ve been having, I understand some of you don’t know about our annual meeting next Tuesday. If you haven’t gone to the website, please do today. All of our events are listed there,” Mr. Chappell said closing out the event. “Our guest speaker is Michigan alumnus Kevyn Orr, the Partner-in-Charge of the Jones Day Law Firm who will be talking about his time at Michigan, his career and the handling of the Detroit bankruptcy which should be interesting.”
The University of Michigan Alumni Club of Greater Washington, D.C. hosts similar career and networking events throughout the year for its alumni, in addition to its sports game watches in the fall and winter seasons, for which the University and its alumni are well known. If you are a University of Michigan alumnus in the Washington DC metro area and would like to keep up with the club’s events, please go to www.umdc.org.