Career Center Launches First-Ever YU-Mentoring Volunteer Program
Yeshiva University’s Career Center invited the undergraduate student body to participate in the first-ever “Yeshiva University Mentoring Volunteer Program” (YU-MVP) on Feb. 10. The program seeks to connect current students with YU alumni and contacts in various professional fields.
Operating on the online platform PeopleGrove, YU-MVP recruits volunteer mentors through YU’s connections to alumni and university contacts or through external marketing. Students who sign up to participate must first complete a “matching quiz” to tailor the network’s recommendations for themselves. The program allows students to partake in “flash mentoring,” a short-term, virtual connection with volunteer mentors to discuss “help topics,” such as application materials or work and life balance support.
Within the first week of its launch, a total of 122 students signed up for the YU-MVP, 34 from the Beren Campus and 88 from the Wilf Campus, according to Associate Director of Employer and Alumni Programs Matthew Garcia.
“The primary purpose of YU-MVP is to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to connect with a captive audience of volunteer mentors,” Garcia explained. “These are professionals who signed on to be ready and willing to provide insight, guidance, and support.” There are almost 200 professionals and alumni in the network, according to Garcia.
Collaborated on between the Career Center and the Office of Alumni Affairs, YU-MVP was piloted in the fall semester of 2019 amongst a small group of finance students and volunteer mentors; this run sought to test the functionality and experience on the site during the finance recruiting cycle.
“I found the YU-MVP program extremely helpful for searching for a summer internship,” shared Zachary Lowinger (SSSB ‘21), a student who participated in the pilot run. “It connected me to many people I have never heard of and ended up helping me land a role.” This summer, Lowinger plans to intern as an analyst at Morgan Stanley in the firm’s Risk Management Division.
Other students were impressed with the program but experienced some difficulties during the pilot phase. "It functioned similarly to LinkedIn but is tailored for the YU community," YSU President Zachary Greenberg (SSSB ‘21) remarked in describing his experience with the program. “A lot of the people I was connected to [through YU-MVP] turned out to still be in school and not yet working, so I hope kinks like that will be improved this semester because the concept is fantastic."
“Member feedback is welcome and sought after,” Mr. Garcia said, “allowing us to work with our service providers to create the best user experience.”
The Career Center hopes for YU-MVP to become as popular as YU CareerLink (YUCL), an online tool for students to access a database of job listings and to stay updated with Career Center events, among other things. According to Mr. Garcia, platforms like YU-MVP at other institutions yield a 10-20% participation rate from invitation to sign-up. He predicts that between 100-200 undergraduate students at YU will be “actively engaged” by the end of the semester.
“Knowledge is power,” Mr. Garcia said, “and the knowledge these professionals are ready to share is extremely valuable.”
Photo Caption: A poster promoting the new YU-MVP program
Photo Credit: Sruli Fruchter