January 14, 2020
The MPA Mentorship Program entered into its second year with MPA Alumni being paired with a member of the senior class. The MPA Alum and seniors exchange three emails throughout the months of November and December. This year was wildly successful with more alumni interested in the program than we had seniors. Mentees and mentors were matched based on interests, hobbies, career goals, college choice, etc. It was clear from the first email exchange that having the mentorship program based upon similar common interests has been yielding more quality relationships. The Mentorship Program concludes with a Networking Event held at MPA with Alumni and Parents of Alumni networking with the Class of 2020. Unfortunately, due to MPA alumni living all over the world they are not always able to attend. Therefore, they take opportunities to connect in person outside of the Networking Event.
“MPA has such a unique fabric of experience and I’ve found it really fun to learn about someone else in this shared space, where I feel like I understand so much about where this student has come from—this academic environment and their academic development, and in a small way, have also been a part of their experience, and through it all, discovering all of these individual, remarkable talents that each student has, and the extraordinary qualities that are unique to them,” said Dorothy (Schilling) Tiernan ’02. “With every email, I am so impressed at what these students are thinking, asking, and doing.”
Dorothy was paired with current MPA senior Grace Holloway, who shares the same enthusiasm about the program. “My experience with the MPA mentor program has been one of my favorite things about senior year,” Grace said. “I felt connected to my mentor, Dorothy, right from the beginning. We had so many things in common and bonded over our love for studying English, being in track and field and HGTV. I was so excited to finally meet her in person! The chance to connect with an alumnus with similar interests to me was very special and I am very grateful that I have gotten to know, and can call Dorothy my friend!”
“My correspondence with Grace has been great fun—we have led weirdly parallel lives and it has been amazing to discover some of the things we have in common,” Dorothy added. “Among many other things, she lived in Belgium and I worked in Belgium, she wants to study English, which was my major, and we have a shared passion for home renovation shows. Each email feels like it is from an old friend and I am always excited to see the next one in my inbox. I’m really looking forward to staying in touch with her and hearing all about her next adventures!”