With an emphasis on thinking about the future and strengthening the bonds of brotherhood, the Beyond Belen Mentorship Program aims at matching current seniors with alumni who work in their desired field of interest.
“This program was developed as a result of the 2017 Strategic Plan
; specifically Pillar IV “Enhancing Our Brotherhood,” said Claudia Basso, Career Development & Internship Coordinator. “The desire to connect current students with alumni is the cornerstone of Beyond Belen. The program was initiated by Felipe Pardo ‘18, during his senior year, along with Tony Castro ‘86 who was the Alumni Board President at the time. Fast forward to January 2020 when the Office of Career Development was established, the focus has been on reaching more students and alumni mentors to participate.”
As part of the new Office of Career Development and Internships
, Beyond Belen brings together seniors who want to be paired with an alumni mentor for career guidance and future opportunities. Working closely with the Belen Alumni Association Office has been instrumental in identifying alumni who are willing to give their time to serve as mentors to the next generation.
“In truth, it wasn’t a hard sell,” said Carlos Bravo ‘86, Executive Director of the Alumni Association. “Once we shared the idea on our BConnected platform the calls to help started to flow in. Our alumni are excited to help mentor and guide these young men as they prepare to leave Belen Jesuit in the coming months. As alumni, they will also have full access to the gamut of resources in the Alumni Office.”
This program is intended to help guide seniors by allowing them to experience their desired professions first-hand through alumni interactions within their chosen fields. The program will provide networking and shadowing opportunities with professionals that may lead to possible internships and/or jobs down the line.
“Last year’s program brought together over 90 participants to gather in the Saladrigas Gallery for breakfast and roundtable discussions based on the student’s career interests,” said Mrs. Basso. “There’s a lot of excitement around this year’s event which in part was also coordinated by Juan Tejera ‘21. The logistics to coordinate the event are a huge undertaking but the payoff, in the end, is enormous.”
Due to the pandemic, this year’s event will take place on February 23rd and 25th via Zoom and the students on campus will virtually meet their 1:1 mentors while gathered in the Dining Hall.
In anticipation of the event, students are given tips by Mrs. Basso and Matthew Jordan, Dean of Student Activities, on how to professionally connect with these alumni mentors pre- and post-meeting each other.
“If I can offer any advice to a high school student is to make sure you participate in an event, like this one, when your time comes,” said Mrs. Basso. “This is real life and these are real connections. The Belen name may get you through the door, however, your presence and manners will be what your future employer remembers. Everything counts, always.”