The Herd

Welcome to The Herd! This flash mentoring program is designed to provide real-world, beyond-the-classroom exposure, helping students build relationships with industry professionals by connecting current students with Tufts alumni, parents, and friends in mentoring relationships.
 
What is flash mentoring?
Flash mentoring is one-time or short-term mentoring centered around tactical meetings that provide timely knowledge for participants. And, of course, mentors and mentees can also develop lasting relationships. 
 
Visit the networking section of our site for more information, including tips for career conversations (a.k.a. informational interviewing), questions to ask networking contacts, sample networking emails, and more.
 
Current students: You'll receive an invitation to join The Herd in September 2019.
 
Student FAQs
 
How will The Herd benefit me?

Among other things, you’ll be able to build your professional network, develop and enhance communication skills, explore new ideas and areas of interest, gain exposure to industries and career options, and gather advice and internship/job search tips.

What should mentees (students/advice seekers) do/not do?
DO:
  • make first contact with selected mentors
  • respect time and expertise of mentors by acknowledging ALL calls/emails in a timely fashion (i.e., 24-48 business hours) and honoring all commitments
  • utilize available resources to ensure that all outreach emails are professional
  • prepare for discussions, actively engage in the mentoring process and approach the process with an open mind
  • respect the confidentiality of shared information
  • express thanks for mentors’ assistance
DO NOT:
  • request jobs or internships from their mentors. While relationships may evolve to a place where mentors are able to connect mentees with employers and organizations of interest, mentees should not initiate this request.

Two important notes: 

  1. If at any point, mentors are no longer able to or want to participate in the program, they will notify all mentees about their situation as soon as possible.
  2. The Herd strives to maintain the utmost standard of professionalism in mentor-mentee relationships. If ever concerned by the unprofessional behavior of a mentee, participants should inform Tufts University Career Center staff at theherd@tufts.edu immediately.
What happens when I sign up?
The Herd will recommend alumni connections based on what you include in your profile. You can also browse the community by industry, major, location, and more. Once you request a mentor and they accept your request, you are officially paired. 
 
In addition to requesting a mentor, you’ll be able to pose questions anonymously via the Discussion tab, which mentors will then have the opportunity to answer. You can also check out the Resources tab for helpful podcasts, articles, and videos.
Who can see my profile information?
Alumni mentors cannot view your profile until you make a request. Other students can never view your profile. Once you make a mentoring request, that individual mentor will be able to view your profile to determine if the mentoring connection is a good fit.
I’ve connected with a mentor. What happens next? What’s the time commitment?

You are expected to make the first contact with your selected mentor, and it's up to you and the mentor to decide how involved you want the mentoring experience to be. Your engagement could be a one-time conversation or you may wish to continue for a longer period of time. It is important that both you and your mentor set limits surrounding the mentoring relationship, e.g., methods of communication (email, phone, in person) and how often communication will occur. Think about your goals for the connection and write down some initial questions for your mentor (visit the The Herd's Resources tab for suggestions).

What information should I share with a mentor?

Consider sharing your: educational and professional goals; some of the experiences you have had during your time at Tufts (activities, research, internships, etc); and what would you like to get out of the connection (i.e., your expectations). Throughout the process, your mentor can be a resource for you re: questions about seeking employment and interviewing for a job or internship, or with any questions about life post-Tufts. Visit the networking section of our site to learn more about informational interviews -- also known as career conversations. 

I reached out to someone and did not receive a response. What should I do?

Give them a few days and try sending a follow-up message. If after 7 days you don't hear from your requested mentor, cancel the request, and then request someone else. Sometimes our mentors get busy and are unable to find time to chat with eager students like you. If you're still having issues, feel free to reach out to us at theherd@tufts.edu

How can I get the most out of this program?

Be active! Ask questions, reach out to new people, and check out our resources. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone. Alumni are waiting for you to connect with them. Everyone in The Herd community is here to support you.

 

Alumni FAQs

Why should I become a mentor in The Herd?

Alumni become mentors for a variety of reasons. It feels great to pay it forward and help Tufts students unlock their potential. You can also learn from your mentee (or even find the next hire for your team). Lastly, you are sure to build coaching and leadership skills along the way.

What should mentors (advice or information providers) do/not do?
DO:
  • respond promptly to requests from students to connect and be clear about what they’re willing to do (including time they have available and kind of support they’re able to give)
  • actively listen and help mentees arrive at conclusions by themselves
  • share industry knowledge and expertise and coach mentees on particular skills/competencies
  • share their own stories while respecting the differences between mentees’ dreams and mentors’ reality
  • create a safe and trusting space for the delivery of information and feedback
DO NOT:
  • have all the answers for their mentee
  • initiate all contact with their mentee
  • provide jobs or internship for the mentee
  • try to offer support beyond the bounds of the mentoring relationship (e.g., as a financial advisor or professional counselor)
 
Two important notes: 
  1. If at any point, mentors are no longer able to or want to participate in the program, they will notify all mentees about their situation as soon as possible.
  2. The Herd strives to maintain the utmost standard of professionalism in mentor-mentee relationships. If ever concerned by the unprofessional behavior of a mentee, participants should inform Tufts University Career Center staff at theherd@tufts.edu immediately.
What happens when I sign up?
First you’ll complete your profile. Signing up with LinkedIn will automatically fill in some of your info. Mentors will set availability preferences to indicate how much time they can commit to the mentor role. Students who join the program will be able to view alumni profiles and reach out to ask questions or request meetings. (Students will be invited to join The Herd in September 2019). 
 
You can also answer community questions. Students will use the Discussion tab to pose questions anonymously to all alumni. Check out the Resources tab for podcasts, articles, and videos you might find interesting to discuss with your mentee.
I’ve connected with a student. What happens next? What’s the time commitment? 

The student is expected to make first contact with you, and it's up to you and your mentee to decide how involved you want the mentoring experience to be. Your engagement could be a one-time conversation or you may wish to continue for a longer period of time. It is important that both you and your mentee set limits surrounding the mentoring relationship, e.g., methods of communication (email, phone, in person) and how often communication will occur.