Do you love your classes and the knowledge gained from your degree, but feel unsure of how to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to the real world? Would you like to build up your networking skills and meet more people with successful careers in your field? Would you like to get an insider’s perspective on the industry you’ve chosen?
The SOUL (Supporting Our University Leaders) Mentorship Program offers female students an opportunity to be connected with dynamic, engaging leaders in their communities in order to learn, be inspired, and explore their interests. SOUL is a program unique to Young Women in Business (YWiB) SFU. Started by Kunny Ma and Stephanie Wong in 2009, SOUL began as a mentorship program for aspiring young female students. Through personal recommendations, they were able to find highly esteemed SFU alumni willing to give back to the SFU community, and with the desire to encourage, challenge and support mentees to grow and develop personally and professionally. This program started in the Faculty of Business, and expanded to the School of Communication the following year with co-VPs Helen Xie and Patricia Zhou.
For the 2011-2012 term, co-VPs of Mentor Relations, Jennifer Ganapathy and Kristen Ryan, have strived to reach out to Social Science students so they can reap the benefits that YWiB SFU has to offer. This year, SOUL mentees are from the departments of Political Science, International Studies, Gender Studies, English, Criminology, History, Psychology, World Literature, and Dialogue, Development & Sustainability. All of these students have been paired with mentors in fields such as government, education, non-profit, international development, and policy institutes.
Meghan Gilgunn, who received her Master of Arts in Social Anthropology and is currently working with the federal government, is a SOUL mentor to a Criminology student. “I wanted to get involved in the SOUL Mentorship Program to demonstrate that a social science degree can be valuable outside of academia. My undergraduate and graduate education in Anthropology has been integral to my success in each of the three different positions I've held with the Federal Government. I want students who are passionate about social science to know that with an openness to possibility and some perseverance, they will be able to apply their learning in meaningful, interesting careers.” Through being paired with SOUL mentors such as Gilgunn, Social Science students will be given an opportunity to learn from an SFU alumni with years of experience in their area of study, learn the steps they need to take to be competitive in their industry, and gain an understanding of the real-world applications of their degrees.
For the following year, YWiB SFU hopes to reach out to even more diverse faculties within SFU such as Engineering, Applied Sciences, Health Sciences and others, as they would like all female students to benefit from the professional workshops, events, and opportunities YWiB SFU has to offer.
Applications will be accepted in September of this year for the YWiB SFU 2012-2013 SOUL Mentorship Program. Please refer back to our website for regular updates.