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 a 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, and 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?
Create a profile in our ELM Mentor Database within our F&ES Next platform.

 Matcing takes place during the month of September. If your profile is a match to one of our students, you will be contacted in mid to late September with next steps.
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 M.F.S ’97
Alumnus Bryan Goldberg and students 6 inch
Photo: Kathy Douglas
F&ES Alumni Board President Brian Goldberg, M.E.M. ’03, 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 within our F&ES Next platform. 
  • If your proifle matches one of our students we will notify you by mid to late September of the academic year regarding next steps.
  • Alumni and students will be matched one-on-one based upon commonalities listed in their ELM profiles, and matching will conclude by mid to 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. You will be notified no later than October 1 of the academic year. 
  • 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 our ELM Mentors refer to when formalizing goals and expectations for the year. 
Complete the ELM Mentoring Agreement
Formalize expectations and goals
Discuss career fields
Get to know your mentee and share your F&ES experience
Provide mentee with resume feedback
Complete the ELM Mentoring Agreement and formalize expectations and goals
Share your F&ES experience 
Consult on the mentee’s coursework and relevancy to future planning
Assist your mentee in developing a networking strategy for the school year
Discuss the timeframe of job postings for your career field
Review mentee’s extra-curricular activities
Help mentee cultivate sources for informational interviewing
Advise mentee on the art of creating a compelling professional story
Encourage mentee to review their network and strategize about connecting during winter break and early spring semester
Reflect on the mentee’s professional activity and fall semester outcomes
Review mentee’s final semester courses
Conduct a mock interview with your mentee and provide constructive feedback
Encourage your mentee to use spring break as a time to network and interview
Review with your mentee their job search correspondence – email, cover letter, thank you notes, etc.
Practice the art of salary negotiating
Discuss transition from student to employee
Help mentee plan a job search strategy and summer activity if still seeking
Discuss ways to stay connected!
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 positve experiences so that we can showcase your mentoring story to future mentors and mentees.

Feel free to send an email to Alyssa Student, Assistant Director, Career Development Office at: alyssa.student@yale.edu
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