Office of Applied Learning Experiences (ALEX) Mentorship Program

Each semester, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Mentorship Program matches students with alumni and friends of the University based on career and personal interests. A mentor is someone that through support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and constructive example helps a mentee to reach his or her life and career goals. Working one-on-one with a student, mentors help them to explore a career path and prepare for the transition from college life to the workplace. Ideally the mentor-mentee relationship should begin during the student's sophomore year and continue throughout the student's university career, if not longer. We encourage you to participate in the ALEX Mentorship Program.

Why participate in the ALEX Mentorship Program?

Through mentoring, mentees (students) gain:

  • Individual recognition, encouragement, and support.
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence when dealing with professionals.
  • A realistic perspective of the workplace.
  • Advice on how to balance work and other responsiiblities and set priorities.
  • Knowledge of workplace "dos and don'ts"
  • Experience in networking.

Through mentoring, mentors gain:

  • Increased self-esteem.
  • Satisfaction of helping a student reach his or her academic and professional goals.
  • Enhanced coaching and leadership skills
  • Increased patience and improved supervisory skills.
  • An expanded network of professional colleagues.
  • Recognition at work for participating in a job-related activity.
  • For alumni, it represents an opportunity to reconncect and give back to the university.

Through mentoring, employers gain:

  • An effective employee recruitment and retention tool.
  • Improved supervisory skills, work habits and productivity.
  • Increased employee job satisfaction.
  • A way to promote professional developoment within the organization.
  • An inexpensive and easy way to positively impact their community.
  • An opportunity to help share the workforce of tomorrow.

mentor and mentee


Both mentors and mentees are expected to dedicate 1 - 2 hours of meeting time each month, whether those meetings occur on campus, at a coffee house, or in the mentor's workplace. In addition, the Office of Applied Learning Experiences (ALEX) will host Mentorship Program events at least twice each semester. Such events are designed to not only bring mentors and mentees together, but also to provide networking opportunities and promote professional development.

Before meeting for the first time, mentors and mentees should reflect on the expectations they have for their relationship. By first doing this individually, mentors and mentees can think freely about threir own needs without being influenced by one another. Some questions that mentors and mentees should consider when thinking about expectations include:


  • Why do you want to be a mentor?
  • What work-related skills would you like your mentor to have?
  • What interpersonal skills would you like your mentor to have?
  • Do you expect your mentor to help find you an internship or job?
  • How often do you want to meet with your mentor?
  • Where would you like to meet with your mentor?
  • Are there any specific career planning activites you would like to do with your mentor?


  • Why do you want to be a mentor?
  • What do you see as your role: to lead, to listen, or both?
  • How much time do you have to spend with your mentee?
  • What topics are you comfortable discussing?
  • Are you willing to have your mentee tour your workplace?
  • How can you increase the comfort level of your mentee?
  • What career planning activities would you like to do with your mentee?

I'm Interested, What Do I Do Now?

Registration is held throughout the year, with the beginning of mentor-mentee relationships initiated at a kick-off event at the beginning of the following academic semester. For example, the ALEX Mentorship Program application deadline for the Fall semester kick-off (held at the beginning of September) is August 1 and the application deadline for the Spring semester kick-off (held at the beginning of January) is December 1.

Mentees: Student applicants registration.

Mentors: Industry professionals registration.


Further Information

If you'd like further information about the ALEX Mentorship Program or if you are a leader of an organization or human resources professional who would like to partner with UH Hilo in providing mentorship opportunities to your employees, please contact the Director of the Office of Applied Learning (ALEX) using the email address or telephone number provided below.

Tom DeWitt, Ph.D.
Director - Office of Applied Learning Experiences (ALEX)
250 Kanakaole Hall
University of Hawai’i at Hilo
Phone: 808.987.6551

More Information