Featured Student – Irene Lam ’18

October 2017

The Alumni Mentoring Program kicked off its fifth semester earlier this fall. Led by alumni volunteers and sponsored by the Alumni Association, the Mentoring Program connects current students with alumni mentors who give them advice about Stuyvesant, college, and beyond and also help students with professional skills such as resume writing and interviews. Each semester, the program provides dozens of hours of facilitated group mentoring, panel discussions, and interactive workshops to hundreds of students and alumni every year. Below is a brief feature on Irene Lam ’18, a current Stuyvesant senior who first participated in the Program as a sophomore mentee and has now returned to the Program as a Student Leader to help organize program logistics and facilitate group discussions.

Irene Lam '18, current Student Leader for the Alumni Mentoring Program, standing next to Touchdown, the unofficial mascot of Cornell.

Can you speak about your experience in Mentoring?
I first participated in the Alumni Mentoring Program in the Fall of 2015. Having no precedence and expectations, I was slightly intimidated as I headed into my first session at BlackRock, wearing jeans and carrying a bulky backpack while entering such a refined establishment. However those first introductions soon became laughter and soon it felt like I knew the ins and outs of everyone in my cohort. This sense of community grew on me as I became comfortable conversing with my mentor and Student Leaders on anything, from their interview answers to “what is your greatest flaw?” response to their life’s biggest regrets. I learned about how to structure my resume and prepare for interviews, how to email and talk to adults in a professional setting, and even exposed myself to many career fields that I’ve never thought of.

What made you want to return to the Program as a Student Leader?
I wanted to provide current participants with the same support and encouragement my Student Leaders once gave me and to contribute to this close-knit community of alumni and alumni-to-be’s. I also feel very grateful to the Program because of the professional skills it taught me which were indispensable in helping me take my first steps towards acquiring a law internship. Even with my parents’ advice and the online resources, my resume and interview skills would still have been subpar at best. But due to the assistance I received from my mentors, my Student Leaders, and my entire cohort group, I was able to secure a judicial internship at the New York Supreme Court and later on, an internship at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, one of the largest international law firms based in NYC. The professional skills the Mentoring Program teaches are crucial and always relevant and despite Stuyvesant’s diverse offerings, there are no other clubs or classes that help students develop these skills to the same extent that the Alumni Mentoring Program does.

The professional skills the Program taught me were indispensable in helping me take my first steps towards acquiring a law internship... no other clubs or classes at Stuyvesant helps students develop these skills to the same extent that Mentoring does.

Anything else you would like to share?
I would not be where I am without the Alumni Mentoring Program. I look forward to sharing my experiences in the professional world in my cohort this term so that other students can learn from the guidance I received. But more than anything, I am excited to give back to Stuyvesant as part of this united community, knowing that we each have invaluable expertise and also each other’s backs!

We are so grateful to our alumni mentors who volunteer hundreds of hours every semesters to mentor current students. You too can support the excellent work the Program is doing by donating to the General Fund. Your donations ensure that the Alumni Association can continue to fund the Program and support both our student mentees and alumni volunteers.

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