Monday, January 25, 2021

Jami Tanner (CAS '19) Alumni Mentor and Vanessa Martin (CAS '23) Student Mentee on the CAS Alumni Mentorship Program


Jami Tanner

Jami Tanner (CAS '19)

Can you tell us about your experience acting as an alumni mentor?

I was committed to becoming an alumni mentor because I remember just how overwhelming it was navigating the undergraduate experience as the first person in my family to attend college. In our virtual biweekly meetings, I work with Vanessa on building her professional skills and talking through any confusions or uncertainties. We started off with resume workshopping, mock interviews, networking tips, and building her LinkedIn profile. I try to tailor each session around her current priorities, and there’s always some unstructured time for random questions about school or life. Vanessa is a brilliant student and quick learner, so it’s been really engaging to work together. (It also helps that we have a crazy amount of things in common!)

What advice did you give your student mentee?

I remember feeling nervous in my early years of undergrad because I hadn’t figured out my exact career path yet. I wanted to stress to Vanessa that it’s okay to not have your entire life trajectory finalized at 19 years old. My biggest piece of advice to her was to explore all of her intellectual curiosities during these four years, through different courses and internships, to get clarity on what she does and doesn’t like. I found my career objectives changed over the course of my undergraduate career, as I gained a deeper understanding of the different fields I was considering. There is a lot of trial and error, and that’s a crucial part of the process!

I also encouraged her to join clubs on campus that align with her passions and interests. I met some of my closest, lifelong friends through student organizations. These groups create a strong sense of community and make a large university like NYU feel small and connected. 

Jami Tanner: her story continues