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Mentoring and a Meal

Posted By Vanderbilt Magazine On March 11, 2008 @ 3:09 pm In Spring 2008, The Classes | No Comments

“Opening Dores allows students to get real-world advice about what they can do with their Vanderbilt degree. And it’s fun for the alumni, who chat about their old classes and professors, sports, and what it means to be a Vanderbilt alum.”

~Kate Stuart

“Should I take Italian or Spanish? And please pass the potatoes.”

Vanderbilt students and alumni are networking with each other the old-fashioned way: over meals together. Through “Opening Dores,” a new initiative by the Office of Alumni Relations, 10 to 12 current students–all with the same interest or major–are brought together with five alumni who work in that field to share conversation and a family-style meal.

“We conducted focus groups with students and found they were interested in meeting alumni in informal, intimate settings where they could ask questions that perhaps they didn’t want to ask in front of professors or parents,” says Kate Stuart, program coordinator for alumni relations.

“Opening Dores allows students to get real-world advice about what they can do with their Vanderbilt degree. And it’s fun for the alumni, who chat about their old classes and professors, sports, and what it means to be a Vanderbilt alum.”

So far six such events have taken place since last fall–for history majors, political science majors and engineering majors, and for students interested in media and marketing, nonclinical health care, and noninvestment banking finance. Students sign up on a first-come, first-served basis. Along with the various academic departments, the Vanderbilt Career Center is a partner in the project.


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