Mentor Circles

Mentor Circles are a way for alumni to share their expertise with students and alumni. Mentor Circles are a one-time or repeating discussion led by an alum with a group of two to twelve students or alumni participating.

How does a Mentor Circle work?

Before the first discussion, the alumni mentor will have a short call with a staff member to discuss the logistics, format, and potential topics and audience. The mentor chooses the theme, typically their field or a career topic like navigating career transitions or work-life balance; determines how many alumni or students they’d like to have participate; and requests to host a circle. When a host is approved they will then set a date, time, and location; the Mentorship Program administrator will assist with promoting the circle and recruiting mentees; and alumni or students will sign-up to participate in the circle.

Mentor Circles can be held in-person or virtually via Zoom depending on the mentor and participants' locations. Most in-person Mentor Circles take place on campus or in offices, restaurants, or coffee shops.

What are the benefits?

Often alumni can only spare an hour or two and this program provides the opportunity to expand the reach of their expertise by mentoring multiple people at once for a short period of time.

Mentees have the opportunity to learn from an industry or content expert and ask questions in a small group setting. They can also benefit by serving as peer mentors to one another and meeting other alumni or students with similar career interests, thus expanding their Northwestern network and building community.

Who can apply to be a Mentor Circle host?

All alumni are eligible to apply to host a Mentor Circle. Alumni can be at any stage in their career. Students and alumni enjoy connecting with senior leaders as well as those who are just a year or two ahead of them, so you don’t have to be a CEO, just an expert or well versed on the topic you’ll be leading a discussion on.

What’s the host application process?

Alumni mentors can apply to host a Mentor Circle by filling out the application. We will review each application individually to strategically host Mentor Circles that best meet the needs of our student and alumni mentees. Applicants can expect to hear back from the program administrator within two weeks to setup a phone call to discuss the circle.

Apply here to be a host -