Mentorship Experiences and Testimonials

Mentor Experiences

Spring 2023

“I have thoroughly enjoyed mentoring my mentee Kathleen this semester! I would love to continue mentoring future librarians. This was a great experience for me, and I feel that I learned so much!” - Krissy, Theological Librarian, Stark College & Seminary

“I love having a student to mentor - it's made me think about my job in a different way, which has been good for me. I also hope it's been good for her!” - Christina, Junior High Library Media Specialist, Katy ISD

“The Program has been great so far! I have been happy to help Sowjanya and had some good amount of conversation since we started. We had couple zoom calls and follow up emails for the past 3 months. Topics involved were to improve resume, staying motivated in recent times and the next steps. I would like to continue to be part of this program. Hope I am able to help and make a drop of a difference!” - Ramya, Developer II at Elevate

“I found this program to be super helpful. Elizabeth and I didn't follow a set agenda for our meetings but we kept things freeform, discussing what topics were relevant in our fields and swapping stories about work. What we did talk about helped me get a lot of important perspective about what working in a public library would be like, compared to the academic library which I'm currently leaning towards focusing on right now. For example, censorship is a big issue right now in the public libraries but where I work, we have plenty of books on the banned list, yet no one complains because the facility is not on most peoples' radars. But Elizabeth also showed me how librarians need to be advocates for both their needs and those of their communities, which is something that's come up in my INFO 5000 class. In most of our sessions, I guess you can say it all connects back to things that have been relevant either in my classwork or in my work experience. - Sarah, MS Library Science 

One of the things Elizabeth mentioned early on to me was how she originally wasn't going to go into children's librarian work, but ended up along that path because the opportunity arose. Though I'd like to become an academic librarian (something like a subject librarian would be best), I will make sure I keep my eyes out for opportunities outside of my experience too. Similarly, Elizabeth said that she also has to deal with different issues day-by-day, which jives with my current job where we are assigned different tasks each week and sometimes each day, depending on priorities. We've been talking about balancing work-life as a result and I think I'm in a better position to offer tips than I was at the beginning of the semester in January.” “I find this program very positive for both: students and Professors.  Many students, particularly in a PhD program welcome the extra guidance as the path to research is defined.  For Professor it is a great opportunity to stay in touch and guide students towards the right path of discovery and learning.” -Tereza, Adjunct Professor and Cloud Computing and Data Access Professional

Fall 2022

Interview with a Dr. Yvonne J. Chandler Mentorship program mentor, Lisa Rush, Director of the Travis County Law Library & Self-Help Center
Info-Flight: Why did you join the Dr. Yvonne J. Chandler Mentorship Program?
Lisa: I joined for Dr. Chandler. I had seen her mentor at conferences over the years, but it didn’t occur to me to honor her legacy or give recognition to what I had seen take place through her mentorship and put it into action until UNT contacted me to join the cause.
Info-Flight: What is one tangible benefit you have provided your mentee?
Lisa: I told him something I wish someone had told me long ago: Do the math. Always be thinking about the next step in your career, but look at the data and do an opportunity/cost analysis before making any decision about your career. I helped Daniel find the resources, like the AALL annual salary survey, that could help him get the data he needed to make career decisions now and later.
Info-Flight: What have you gotten out of the experience?
Lisa: It has made me reflect on my own opinions and think about why I do the things that I do and believe the things that I believe. I am not normally a reflective person, but I wanted to be sure to pass on good advice and not wrong-headed advice, so I reflected on my own career and choices. Also, it felt good to give back and work with a young professional.

Spring 2022

 “The program is wonderful and had a really great matching process. We had really good deep conversations and were able to find value in mutually sharing what we know and how we can help. Delighted with the time spent with my mentee, Angela.” - Veronica Unnikrishnan, SVP of Product Innovation, Sales & Marketing at 5Q Cloud

 “It's been great to share my new experiences and transition to a new university with my mentee. I think you made a great match between us and I hope to continue learning and growing together. I love the flexibility of the program. We have our standing meetings, but if something comes up, we make sure to notify each other. Communication has to be a must in order for the mentor/mentee relationship to work. We also came up with topics to discuss at each meeting so we are prepared to discuss and share in advance.” - Marilu Howard, Instructional Designer II for Texas State Technical College

Mentee Testimonials

Spring 2023

Tom, BAS Learning Technologies

“I’ve had such a unique experience with UNT and I appreciate all the resources and programs that are available. The Mentorship program has been a new experience for me that I will carry with me in the future.

The ability to network and communicate with a professional in an organization that I would like to work for is an important aspect of the program. I was lucky to be matched up with Jonathan J. who works with Amazon. He has provided me a lot of advice in setting goals and changing my perspective. He has also assisted with valuable information on his experiences in and out of his organization and sent me an event on LinkedIn that may be valuable to my career progression.”

Carol, MS Library Science student

“I really had a great time talking to someone who has the same passion like me. I really enjoyed talking to my mentor because other than that, I don't have any other role models that could help or guide me to get through my Library Science program especially one-on-one. Talking to my mentor, I have felt accepted and loved, and that is certainly what I need. It really did help me have a mentor that was willing to hear me out, whether they were silly questions or random thoughts that I wanted to share with her.”

Judith, MS Library Science student

“My mentor is Roy C., and he is an excellent mentor.  We’ve met numerous times since the semester began and are meeting today to discuss the library profession as always.  He’s also brought an archivist who worked for the Georgia archives, so that I could ask questions.  Today, another archivist from the Georgia Public Library will be there.  I’m excited to speak with both my mentor and the archivist today.

Roy has helped me with advice about class assignments and which professional organizations I might join.  I’ve appreciated the advice and what he’s told me about being a professional librarian. Thank you for pairing me with him.  I am also a new intern at the SMU Fondren Library.”

Jessica, MS Learning Technologies: Instructional Systems Design concentration

“I got a lot out of it. My mentor, Gwen, does really meaningful work for Texas students at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Through her, I have learned about how Texas funds education projects, such as Texas Open Education Resources. She and her team are responsible for an OER set of Nursing textbooks available to Texas nursing students. I am interested in the intersection of inclusion and digital learning, and she has illuminated many ways in which they relate. She has also encouraged me to keep an open mind about where my career will take me.

Gwen has helped me narrow down my job field and has done her best to open doors for me wherever possible. I think our mentor/mentee relationship will carry on.”

Fall 2022

Ashley Corbaley is a student in the Master of Library Science program with certificates in Youth Librarianship and Storytelling. She joined the program because she would graduate at the end of the semester and wanted to learn from people with experience in the field who could give her advice about job hunting. She says that the best part of the program for her was that it was remote (She lives in Washington and her mentor lives in Texas) and that she could make a connection with someone in the field who also was happy to answer questions by email in between meetings. Her advice to get the most out of the program is to prepare questions or topics of discussion before meetings and plan for what to talk about next time at the end of each meeting, but she stresses that you should still remain flexible and let the conversation take you where it goes. She says that her mentor, Jennifer Delmar-Rollings, was helpful, friendly, and easy to talk to. Ashley loved hearing about Jennifer’s day to day activities as a librarian and her opinions on best practices for youth librarians. She emphasized that her match was perfect since her mentor is a Youth Services Librarian who, among other duties, coordinates and conducts story times for the patrons of Allen Public Library.

Daniel Samford signed up for the Yvonne J. Chandler Mentorship Program because he was a new librarian at Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshal School of Law, with little experience, and he wanted to develop his skills. He was matched with Lisa Rush, Director of the Travis County Law Library & Self-Help Center. Daniel says Lisa was cool, innovative, and helpful. She gave him homework after the first meeting for him to complete before the next. He says he got the most out of the relationship because he took the time to do all the homework she gave him and prepare for the meetings. He also investigated the resources she provided, like a website that she had created, “Texas Law Help.” Of the mentoring relationship, Daniel says, “It’s like therapy. You get out what you put into it.” His mentor helped him set career goals and salary expectations along with the resources she provided. He thinks that she may be a great future resource for a job in the future as well. Daniel states that he will probably sign up for the mentorship program again in August since he could use some mentorship in the area of electronic resources.

Spring 2022

Keivan Kaviani, BA/MA Linguistics

InfoFlight: Why did you join the Mentoring program?

Keivan: I wanted to connect with professionals in my field of study and learn more about the working world. Since I’ve been a student for most of my life, I’m pretty clueless as to how the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired can be used outside of an academic context. I also had several objectives in mind, but didn’t know how to go about pursuing them.

InfoFlight: What is one tangible benefit that you have gotten out of the program?

Keivan: My mentor has introduced me to several different resources, including LinkedIn Learning, Articulate Storyline, and the Critical Language Scholarship Program. I am also on my way to being certified in UX Design, can do basic coding in Python, and have taken an interest in instructional design, the latter of which is my mentor’s specialty.

InfoFlight: Would you sign up again or recommend the program to someone for the fall semester? If so, why? And if not, why not?

Keivan: I would both sign up again and recommend the program to others, as I found it to be a very valuable experience. It was actually more like a mutual mentorship, since we learned from one another and worked together to achieve our goals. Thank you, Nanxi!