Career Paths Mentorship Program

Interested in joining the program as a BGS student?

Sign up here:

Penn’s BGS Professional Development Office provides professional development opportunities to our graduate trainees. This year, we are continuing the Career Paths Mentorship Program with BGS Alumni Mentors. This program is designed to assist graduate trainees with their career development by facilitating connections and long term interactions with alumni from our program who can aid in career exploration and decisions.

We are excited to start off this program to benefit our trainees' professional development!

Career Paths Mentorship Program Information

Mentoring groups are composed of current trainees in the BGS PhD program and BGS Alumni volunteer mentors. BGS Alumni Mentors coordinate to meet monthly at a designated time over the course of an academic year.

The goals of this program are to: 

  1. Facilitate frequent and long-lasting interactions between trainees and alumni

  2. Encourage network building and professional development including relationship building, teamwork, and mentoring

  3. Provide informative and exploratory approaches to different career paths to effectively compare and contrast future career options

Each mentoring group will meet monthly to share their career advice, decisions, networks, and opportunities to achieve these goals and facilitate our trainees professional development both as a graduate student trainee and as a future professional in the career of their choosing.

Overview of the Program

  • BGS Alumni Mentor Recruitment (August 15-Sept 9)

    • BGS Alumni Mentor Expectations Document

  • Kick Off Mixer (Sept 8th at 6PM*)

  • Graduate Trainee Sign Ups* (Sept 12th- Sept 30th) 

  • Monthly Mentoring Groups (Oct-May)

  • Wrap Up Event (June 1st at 6PM*)

*Tentative Dates, subject to change 

If you have any questions about the program, or would like to assist with coordinating the program, please reach out to Laura Ohl.


  • Time Commitment is ~18 hours total throughout the academic year (Oct-June)

    • Kick off Event (1 hour)

    • BGS Alumni Mentor Expectations Information (read)

    • Monthly Mentoring Groups (1-2 hours per month over the 8 months of the program [Oct-June] (8-16 hours total)

    • Wrap Up Event (1 hour) 

  • Kick Off Event and Fill out Survey

  • Mandatory mentor training before the mentoring groups start to meet.

  • Monthly Mentoring Group Meetings

  • Wrap Up Event and Fill out Survey


  • Evaluate your Values

  • Create a Career Path Tree

  • Create a Mentoring Map

  • Developing Confidence, Aligning Expectations, and Speaking Up for Yourself

  • Finding Opportunities to Improve Transferable Skills: Communication, Writing, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Teamwork, Leadership, Adaptability

  • Transitioning from Graduate School to your Career

  • Network/Mentor Map Building

  • Applying for Jobs, Negotiating Salaries, and Leaving Jobs


What if I don’t know what Group to Sign Up for, because I don’t know what career I’m interested in or what careers I want to learn more about?

Explore BGS Career Development Career Paths Videos to learn more about different career paths to determine what mentor group may fit your current interests (link here:

If I sign up for one group, can I switch to another later?

At this time we do not have a way to switch between mentoring groups. However, this could be a possibility in the future as the program expands.

How do I sign up to be a mentor?

You can sign up to be a mentor here:

How do I sign up as a graduate student trainee?

Attend the Kick Off Event in September and Fill out the survey to sign up for the program and pick your mentoring group. Remember, space is limited in these groups (to keep them small), so sign up ASAP, if you’re interested.

I would love to help out with this initiative. How can I help?

Great! You can sign up to help out with this initiative here: 

What if I have questions about the program?

No problem. Please do not hesitate to contact the coordinator: Laura Ohl (