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Mentoring is one of the best ways to give back

Rocky had his trainer Mick, Luke Skywalker had Obi-Wan and the Karate Kid had Mr. Miyagi. When starting out, we all need help – a guide, a coach, a teacher, a mentor to help us avoid the pitfalls and navigate our way to success. Mentorship and networking have long been recognized as important aspects of the collegiate and fraternity experience.

Research conducted by Sigma Nu and 12 other leading fraternities indicates that fraternity members have strong beliefs in the value of mentoring, with 81 percent responding that alumni support through mentoring and advising was important. That corresponds with strong support of alumni, over half of which indicated a willingness to provide such assistance to collegiate members and young alumni.

We also see an opportunity here. The benefit of being an alumnus is that you have the means to contribute to keeping the fraternity experience alive, and giving back isn’t just limited to financial contributions. One thing that we really need to focus on now as alumni is how to help the guys who are just joining the fraternity with the challenges that they are faced with currently. So how do we bring them together?

Sigma Nu used the results of its study to launch the Sigma Nu Mentor Network on their website. This platform allows alumni to register to serve as mentors, where they create a mentor profile that will help match them with appropriate actives. Undergraduates and younger alumni can access mentor profiles and choose an alumnus they feel can best help them.

Mentoring can be an ongoing process that lasts over months or years, or can be “Flash Mentoring,” where the advisee seeks guidance on a specific problem or situation. Theta Chi and Delta Sigma Pi also have successful mentoring programs. Our goal is to enhance the interaction between our alumni and actives, from which other benefits such as increased giving will naturally flow. Perhaps the Sigma Nu program can serve as model for own mentoring program, and allow our collegiate brothers and younger alumni to benefit from our experience.