How Does the Program Work?

The program pairs environmental science undergraduates with current graduate students in the department of L.A.W.R. to get a firsthand perspective on graduate school; providing undergrads with advice on graduate school including but not limited to the admission process, research, classes, and extracurricular activities in graduate school.


Typical Mentoring Format

Each graduate-undergraduate pair will decide on the format that best matches their relationship! Although there is no exact formula, below are some typical mentoring approaches!

  • Email/Phone Q&A: Exchange specific questions and answers over email.

  • Over coffee: Meet for an informal cup of coffee and see where things go from there. It’s okay if the extent of the mentoring is nothing more than a single chat. It may also turn into a more long-lasting mentor-mentee relationship.

  • Meeting at LAWR functions: Meet and talk at LAWR functions, such as the monthly ice cream social.

  • Shadowing: Follow the graduate student mentor around in the lab or office for a day. This provides real-life exposure and insight into the daily life of a graduate student scientists/researcher.

Planned 2014-2015 Activities

  • Mentor-Mentee Meet and Greet - Fall Quarter

  • Bowling Night - Winter Quarter

  • Undergraduate-Graduate Open Panel Discussion - Spring Quarter


The Advantages of Having a Graduate Student Mentor!

  • Talking with professors about grad student experience may not be as up-to-date and relevant

    • Nostalgia and time can distort perspectives

    • Application processes and lifestyle changes with time

  • Talking with parents/family members not always possible

    • There are 1st generation university students

    • International students unfamiliar with the U.S. system

    • Challenges today maybe different

  • Undergrads maybe considering grad school outside their current academic focus

    • An Environmental Science student with a watershed track undergrad may be interested in Soils & Biogeochemistry for graduate school 


The Advantages of Being a Graduate Student Mentor!

  • Help out an undergrad! Think about how much better off you would have been with a little bit of advice

  • Obtain mentoring experience! Ideal for anyone who wants to eventually go into academia and mentor graduate students of their own.