The UC San Diego Physical Sciences Mentorship Program is a collaboration between the School of Physical Sciences Student Success Center and the Alumni Office. The objective of the program is for mentors to support students in navigating the job search process. The program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students-- with a priority given to graduating seniors and graduate students. Moreover, mentors can provide specific information regarding career paths, goal setting, occupations and industries, as well as provide general advice for students for life after college. By connecting to a mentor, not only do students get to absorb their mentor's expertise and knowledge, but the students also gain valuable networking experience that will be critical to their success.

The program is mutually beneficial to mentors as it provides mentors with a meaningful volunteer opportunity to learn about the current student experience while becoming a more engaged alumnus. 

The goal of the program is to foster effective and beneficial partnerships between students and alumni/ industry professionals.  Interactions will be done via email, phone, Skype, Zoom, or another form of virtual meeting as determined by the mentor and mentee. The expectation is that each pair will communicate at least 30 mins/month for the duration of the 6-month program.


Application Period

  • Application for Mentors is OPEN!
  • Application for Mentees is now CLOSED!  

Duration of Program:

  • WI24: January 8th, 2024 - June 7th, 2024


  • The Student Success Center will check-in with mentees and mentors once every month.
  • Mentees and mentors will receive a survey at the end of the mentoring program.

Matching Process

  • We strive to match mentors and mentees based on interest indicated on the registration form from both parties.

Resume/Cover Letter

Review and critique your student’s resume and cover letter. Provide suggestions on what skills recruiters may be looking for in your industry.

Employment Opportunities During COVID-19 Pandemic

Discuss how to navigate the job search process during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elevator Pitch

Work with your student in crafting a 30-second personal introduction that will make a positive and lasting impression. This can be helpful at various networking or recruitment events.

Networking Tips and Etiquette

Provide tips on networking strategies and how to effectively network. Share the do’s and don’ts when it comes to networking.

Informational Interview

Allow your student to interview you about your career path, education, job, and more. Discuss the industry and office culture. This will allow the student to explore different careers that might best align with their interests and personality. Connect your student to other colleagues with which they can also conduct an informational interview.


Assist your student in creating a LinkedIn profile or review their LinkedIn and make suggestions on how to improve their online professional brand. Suggest associations and companies to follow in your industry.

Interviewing/Mock Interview

Share your interviewing experience with your student. Conduct a mock/ practice interview and provide feedback.

Technology/Latest Trends

Discuss how your company uses technology or what are the latest trends in your profession.

Graduate School

Discussed why you chose to go or not go to graduate school. Discuss the pros of an advanced degree in your field. If you have gone to graduate school, share tips about the application process and what your experience as a graduate student was like.

  • Be professional, kind, respectful, and thoughtful of each other’s experiences and information shared.
  • Consider both the privileges and hurdles you may have had throughout life that have affected your past, current, and future decisions.
  • Respond to email/other communication inquiries within 3-4 business days at the latest. If you will be away for a long time due to academic, work, or personal commitments, please let the other person know. Communication is key!
  • Ask each other about their experiences and expectations.
  • Share only what you feel comfortable sharing with the other person.
  • Set appropriate boundaries. For example, if you are only comfortable (or able) to connect via email, please share that with the other person.

Academic/Professional Icebreakers

  • What inspired you to go into your field of study? 
  • What obstacles have you encountered/overcome so far in your career? 
  • Was there ever a moment in time where you wanted to quit? What did you do? 
  • If you could go back and give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would you tell them? 
  • Who is your biggest inspiration or hero? 
  • What has been your favorite moment/achievement in your life/career that has made all your work worth it? 
  • What is one thing you still need to improve on? 
  • What are three things you would like to accomplish this year? 

Casual Icebreakers

  • If you had all the money and time in the world, what would you do/buy? 
  • If you could time travel only ONE time, would you go into the past or the future and why? 
  • If you had to pick one other major or profession, what would it be? 
  • What is one embarrassing story about yourself? 
  • What is something you would like to learn? 
  • If you could have an extra hour of free time every day, how would you use it? 
  • When was the last time you did something for the first time? 
  • Would you rather be able to run 100 miles per hour or fly 10 miles per hour?

Dear [Mentor Name],

Thank you for agreeing to mentor me in the UC San Diego Physical Sciences Mentorship Program! I look forward to meeting with you and learning more about [field mentor is in]. 

I saw that you currently work for [company] as a [job title] and believe [insert thoughts on company]. I would love to learn more about [specific department in the company] and your work in/on [specific topic of research/work]. 

I would like to start by sharing a little more information about myself. My name is [Mentee name] and grew up in [location]. Some of my interests and hobbies include [insert interests/hobbies]. I am currently a [year and major/minor] and want to pursue a [Master’s degree, Ph.D., career, etc] in [field of study]. I have always been interested in being a [dream job] because [reason] and hope you can help me reach this goal. 

Presently, I am [insert clubs, jobs, leadership positions]. I [insert summary of responsibilities and what you do in these clubs]. I also attached my resume and LinkedIn page so you could learn more about my experiences and background.  

I applied for this mentorship program because [insert reason]. I need help on [insert things you would like to improve upon yourself]. Here are a few activities I hope we can work on together or topics we can discuss:

  • [see Suggested Activities on our website]
  • [certain disciplines in the field]
  • [Specific questions]
  • [How to __ ]

Therefore, I would love to set up a meeting to connect with you over zoom or phone. I am available on [inserts days and times]. Please let me know what works best for your schedule in the next few weeks.


[Mentee Name]

How to Make the Most Out of Your Mentorship

How to Network

  • Click here for a helpful video led by Career Center's Jena Rock.
  • Application for Mentors is now OPEN!

Applications for Mentees are closed.