ELM Environmental Leadership Mentoring

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ELM's mission is to help Yale F&ES students grow professionally through the guidance and advice of alumni, helping them to become environmental leaders and managers in today's world.

The Career Development Office manages an annual mentoring program that helps F&ES students in their final year at the School grow professionally by matching them with an F&ES alum. Students and alumni can be matched on such things as career field, country of origin, ethnicity, etc. Students are able to express how they would like to be matched to their mentor. For example, a student might prefer to be matched with an alum of the same ethnicity, or based on location of interest, etc. 

ELM Mentors are dedicated F&ES alums who volunteer their time and effort in helping F&ES students develop professional skills. As a mentor you provide industry knowledge and advice, job search strategy tips, information about a current event or change in your career field, and so much more! Your background, education, and professional experiences will help support student decision-making in their final year at F&ES and beyond. 

Benefits of Becoming an ELM Mentor

  • Stronger connection with the School
  • Learn about the Yale F&ES of today
  • Expand your professional network
  • Reconnect with peers
  • Access to Yale F&ES talent
  • Professional reflection and personal growth
  • Help develop environmental leaders and managers for today's world
  • Strengthen leadership skills

Expectations of an ELM Mentor

What is expected of an ELM Mentor?
  • Complete the ELM Agreement with your mentee to help outline the structure and expectations of the relationship
  • Work with your mentee to set professional goals for the year
  • Help your mentee build confidence by being supportive 
  • Provide your mentee with honest and constructive feedback in a respectful manner
  • Represent the program and School with integrity

What is not expected of an ELM Mentor?
  • To offer your mentee a job - this is not a job placement program
  • Be endlessly available to your mentee
  • Initiate all contact with your mentee - ELM is a student run program and we encourage our students to initiate contact with his or her mentor
Interested in becoming an ELM Mentor?
Click here to let us know and to receive more info about ELM.
As I move on in my career I am realizing more and more every day what my years at Yale F&ES did for me, and how much my time in New Haven has contributed to my success. ELM will give me a chance to reconnect to Yale F&ES, and in some small way 'pay it forward' to honor my mentors at Yale.
— Dr. Jean McLain ’97 M.F.S.
Alum Brian Goldberg and students
Photo: Kathy Douglas
Former F&ES Alumni Association Board President Brian Goldberg ’03 M.E.M. networking with students after an alumni panel in Kroon Hall.

The Matching Process and Initial Contact with Your Mentee

  • F&ES Alumni interested in being an ELM Mentor are invited to create an ELM Profile in our ELM Mentor Database. If you are interested in becoming an ELM mentor, let us know
  • Alumni and students will be matched one-on-one based upon commonalities listed in their ELM profiles, and matching will conclude by late-September.
  • Once a match is made a notification email will be sent to the mentor at the email address provided in their ELM Profile. Mentors will be notified in early-October.
  • The notification email will include the student’s name and contact information, as well as a copy of their resume, so that you can learn about their background before the initial conversation.
  • Students will also be receiving a notification email with their mentor’s name and contact information, and are expected to initiate contact by sending their mentor an introductory email within 48 hours of being notified of their match.
  • During the initial conversation we ask the mentor and mentee to complete, sign, and date the ELM Agreement. The purpose of the agreement is to define guidelines and set expectations for both parties.
Please note, alumni are matched to one ELM Mentee per year. This unique one-on-one matching allows for both the mentor and mentee to give one another their undivided attention and time, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.

Sample Monthly Timeline of Mentee/Mentor Interaction

Below is a sample timeline we welcome ELM Mentors to refer to when formalizing goals and expectations for the year. 
  • Complete the ELM Mentoring Agreement with your mentee to formalize expectations and goals of the mentoring relationship
  • Learn about your mentee's background and F&ES experiences
  • Consult with your mentee on coursework and its relevancy to future planning 
  • Work with your mentee to develop a networking strategy for the school year
  • Let your mentee know the timeframe of job postings for your career field
  • Review your mentee's extra-curricular activities
  • Work with your mentee to cultivate sources for informational interviewing
  • Practice with your mentee the art of telling a compelling professional story
  • Review your mentee's professional network and strategize about connecting with employers and alumni during winter break and early in the spring semester
  • Reflect and discuss your mentee's professional activity and fall semester outcomes
  • Review final semester courses
  • Conduct a mock interview with your mentee and provide immediate feedback
  • Discuss the many ways your mentee can use spring break as a time to network and interview employers and alumni
  • Review your mentee's job search correspondence – email, cover letter, thank you notes, etc.
  • Have your mentee practice the art of salary negotiating
  • Discuss the transition from student to employee. Share your experience and what you learned about yourself
  • If your mentee is still seeking employment, plan with them a summer job search strategy 
  • Discuss ways to stay connected post-graduation
ELM is a terrific way to formally engage students with F&ES alumni. The alumni network is a big reason why I chose Yale F&ES.
— Gordon Clark M.E.M ‘07
Graduates Walking Horizontal

Paving the Way for Students at F&ES and Beyond

Questions or Thoughts?

The ELM Leadership Team welcomes your suggestions and feedback for improving our program. We would also like to hear about your positive experiences so that we can showcase your mentoring story to future mentors and mentees. Click here to share your suggestions and experiences.
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