Mentor Develop Grow

Connecting Students and Alumni

In today’s world, building a professional network is essential to career success. GeoConnect is a program designed to strengthen the Jackson School network by giving alumni a flexible way to engage and volunteer while also teaching students the skills to develop and benefit from a professional community.

“One of the most important things you can do is find a good mentor. This person needs to be someone you look up to, respect and feel comfortable asking many (and sometimes dimwitted) questions. Having an experienced person in the industry to turn to, particularly someone you trust and admire, is invaluable.”
– Dax McDavid, B.A. ’03, M.S. ’06

What is an alumni mentor?

An alumni mentor guides a student by sharing expertise, advice, personal experiences and insights to help the student understand the different career or education options and potential employers in their area of interest.

In addition, an alumni mentor informs a student about the daily work involved in their profession and the skills needed to improve their success potential.

What are the benefits?

For Alumni

  • Make a difference in a student’s life
  • Experience personal satisfaction and fulfillment
  • Professional and personal rejuvenation
  • Improve interpersonal and communication skills
  • Build mentorship skills and experience
  • Stay connected to the Jackson School
  • Impact future generations of geoscientists

“Mentoring Jackson School students has been a fantastic experience. While meeting with a graduating student to discuss his future plans, I was so impressed that I suggested that he submit a resume to my company. He was hired and is working at GSI Environmental Inc.”
– Mark Hemingway, B.S. ’81

For Students

  • Develop an expanded personal network
  • Improve networking skills
  • Receive career advice
  • Increase self-awareness and self-discipline
  • Gain knowledge and perspective of an organization and culture
  • Improve professional communication skills
  • Complement academics with professional development

How does it work?

Choose one or more mentoring activities that best fit your schedule:

“It is a great way to see firsthand what geologists do and to see a work environment in which I may find myself in the future.”
– Jasmin Alfaro, Class of ‘17

  • One on one meetings
  • Lunches, coffee appointments, etc.
  • Speed interviews
  • Mock interviews
  • Speed networking
  • Career panels
  • Student group meetings
  • One-day Externships
  • Phone calls or Skype
  • Alumni spotlight online
  • Networking events and receptions
  • Presentations to students

How do I sign up?

The process is quick and easy.

  1. Email Courtney Vletas at to express interest in getting involved.
  2. Determine the level of involvement that is best for you through a quick follow-up phone call.
  3. Select an activity that will introduce you to students.
  4. Start mentoring!

Who can I contact for more information?

Courtney Vletas
Associate Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving 
(512) 232-4824

Jennifer Jordan
Career Services Director
(512) 232-0893