A Proposal for an Alumni Based Mentoring Program for the Queen's University Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering
“Your Queen's experience doesn't end after graduation - Students for a short time - Alumni for a lifetime.” These statement are on the internet welcome page for Queen’s Alumni and Friends and I think it is fair conclusion that these statements ring true for all of us who have been fortunate to graduate from the Queen’s University Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering – whether it was last year or 40 years ago. We are proud of and grateful for the great education we received at our university and in our department – an education that prepared us well for the challenging careers that we have.
Early in my career, I was very fortunate to be “taken under the wing” by several Queen’s geology/geophysics alumni who helped mold and guide my career and for that I am forever grateful. They helped me see the value of my Queen’s education and broadened what I had learned by introducing business concepts, the value of networking and of continual learning. In essence I was and continued to be mentored by these individuals.
Mentorship is a personal developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person is paired with a less experienced or less knowledgeable person with the agreed- upon goal of having the lesser skilled person grow and develop specific abilities to reach long-term objectives . True mentoring is more than just answering occasional questions or providing ad hoc help. It is about an ongoing relationship of learning, dialog, and challenge. The key word is ongoing.
Most professional registration organizations (APEO, APEGA, APEGBC, NAPEG) have under their codes of practice for professional registration, a duty to mentor our young professional protégés/protégées. To quote the APEGA page on mentoring “Too often, new professionals find themselves alone at the bottom of the world’s tallest mountain. Having a mentor will help provide the confidence they need to climb the obstacles to a great career.”
As my career progresses I am becoming more and more acutely aware that it is my fiduciary responsibility as a professional geoscientist and as a Queen’s alumnus to try to pass some of my 30 plus years of accumulated technical and business knowledge on to the next generation of Queen’s Geoscientists and Geological Engineers.
While the university has a program “Backpack to Briefcase” that connects current students to alumni and is designed to provide outside-the-classroom skills and experience, after talking to a few new grads it became apparent that there was a huge hole in that there was no program for new grads that are entering the workforce to connect and receive ongoing guidance from experienced/successful professionals in the field.
I am hoping that there are other kindred Queen’s Geoscience Alumni that share my desire to help out and that we can with the assistance of the university and the department put together a Queen’s Geoscience Department mentorship program. If you are interested in helping to develop such a mentoring program please contract either myself or our wonderful department head, Dr. Jean Hutchinson at the contact info below:
Dr. D. Jean Hutchinson, Ph.D., P.Eng., FEIC
Department Head, Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering
Bruce Wing, Miller Hall
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6
Paul R. Price PGeol (Alta) PGeo (BC) PGeo (NT/NU)
MGM Energy Corp
Suite 4100, 350 – 7th Ave SW
Canada T2P 3N9