BLUE DEVIL BRIDGES?
Blue Devil Bridges is a one-on-one mentorship program that pairs undergraduate students with Duke alumni based on identity, academics, and professional interests. The program — designed by Duke Student Government in collaboration with the Alumni Center — aims to give students the ability to connect with alumni who can give insight into life after graduation, gain focus and clarity in their career path, and strengthen their connection with a valuable part of the Duke community -- the alumni.
how it works
Students and alumni will fill out separate Qualtrics surveys (linked above) to record their responses in areas including background demographics, academic life, career, and interests. These survey responses will be input into an algorithm that will generate pairings. Students and alumni will then be notified of these pairings early November and will be given resources to successfully connect and begin their conversations.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Isn’t this just networking?
While Blue Devil Bridges is a chance to meet a professional with whom you may share a career path, this isn’t networking, per se. Rather, it provides the opportunity to seek guidance from someone with whom you share an alma mater. We hope you use BDB to ease your transition into post-graduate life, gain inspiration to make an impact after college and strengthen your ties to the Blue Devil community.
Will my mentor be from my intended career field?
Our algorithm takes into account many different factors, one of which is your intended career. While we understand the desire to meet a Duke alumnus whose footsteps you might want to follow, we encourage you to embrace the potential of learning from a professional in a different field. Sometimes the most valuable insight comes from unexpected places!
How do pairings work?
We have designed an algorithm to match you with a mentor. It takes into account your background, academic interests, career pathway, etc based on the survey you completed. Using code designed specifically for this Blue Devil Bridges project, the pairing should be made without bias. Rather, you can prioritize what aspects are important to you in the survey and the algorithm takes this into account.
How formal is this mentorship? How often will I speak with my mentor?
Your mentor will be provided guidelines for discussion. We do expect you to represent Duke University with cordial and positive communication. Ultimately, however, the proximity of you to your mentor is up to you both. That being said, the survey takes into account the desired frequency of meetings of both the mentor and mentee.
How long will the mentorship last?
When assigning your mentorship, we take into account how long you want to be in contact. If the pairing is a strong connection, hopefully, you will choose to stay in contact well beyond the program launch. That being said, how long you stay in contact with them is up to you and your mentor. Something to note: we understand if your relationship might not be the best fit. In that case, we encourage you to reach out to Blue Devil Bridges for a new pairing or engage with other resources to contact alumni, all of which can be found on the alumni center’s page: https://alumni.duke.edu/hellokarsh/.
What if I don’t have a preference to be paired with someone of the same identity?
While we will be asking questions related to identity and background, there is no requirement to answer them. Student preference in what to be matched on will be taken into consideration on the survey. By incorporating demographics into the questionnaire process, the goal is to empower students with the opportunity to connect with an alum of their affinity group, allowing for a deeper connection built on shared identities.
Will this be entirely virtual?
Alumni are encouraged to conduct communication online. However, this is not a requirement. If, at some point, you can meet your mentor in person, that is a discussion that can happen down the line with your alum.