Mentoring: Exploring the Possibilities

Kimmi Duenas, like many college juniors, was unsure of what she was going to do following graduation.  She has so many interests that she is working on a double major in both behavioral sciences and literature, media, and communication. "I knew that I loved writing, traveling, and helping people," said Kimmi, "but I wanted to talk to a professional with whom I could get an insider's perspective and explore options in my fields of interest, which included photojournalism and media."

Kimmi joined AJU's mentor program, where AJU students are often given the opportunity to be mentored by a range of professionals including entrepreneurs, rabbis, and leaders in the field of law, medicine, and the entertainment industry.

Finding a photojournalist was unusually challenging, but Dr. Stuart Sigman, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, recommended a colleague based in Colorado who has a background in journalism, television production, teaching, and social action.  It proved to be a successful match.  "My mentor, who has experienced much of what I want to do in the future, has helped me consider dynamics that I never thought about." said Kimmi. "For one, she helped me realize that I do not have to stay in one occupation; that I can get involved with different organizations and careers as I grow professionally.  She also suggested that I bear in mind the kind of life-style I would like when I have a family someday.  It may seem simple, but I hadn't thought about that."

The most significant outcome of the relationship so far was when Kimmi's mentor introduced her to the concept of social change as a profession.  That was it; her path became clear.  Kimmi says that with the education she has received at AJU in behavioral sciences and communication, she is confident that she will be accepted into the graduate program of her choice.  As is often the case, Kimmi's relationship with her mentor has become an ongoing relationship.