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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 Duke Alumni Engagement and Development (AED) and the Career 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) by November 1 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.


This outlines potential Alumni mentorship platform use cases for different Duke University groups including current undergraduate students and alumni.

Undergraduate Students:

With the existence of an Alumni mentorship program, undergraduate students may… 

  • Connect with alumni working in their field(s) of interest

  • Grow comfortable networking for personal and professional development

  • Gain focus and clarity in their career path and make best use of resources and time while at Duke

  • Acquire an understanding of how Duke courses, programs, and opportunities can lead to a specific career path


With the existence of an Alumni mentorship program, alumni may… 

  • Have a unique opportunity to make an impact on the next generation of Duke students

  • Share their story, knowledge, and advice

  • Invest their time in a rewarding relationship with a student who is eager to learn from them

  • Reconnect with their alma mater


FOR Mentees

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, form a genuine connection with an alum, and strengthen your ties to the Blue Devil community.

What grade levels will get the opportunity to participate in this pilot?

For this pilot program, sophomore students will be prioritized first, but Juniors and Seniors are likely to receive pairings based on high alumni participation so far (if you are a Junior or Senior who is interested, we still encourage you to fill it out). Because Blue Devil Buddies serves the purpose of mentorship for first-year students getting acclimated to Duke, freshmen will not be able to join the program. For those freshmen hoping to join, look out for the sign-up next iteration!

Why is this a pilot program? When will this program run again?

This program is brand new, and we will be using this pilot to evaluate how to better the program for future iterations. In the future, the program will be open to a wider group. As for when the next installment of this program will run, that is TBD. To participate this time, fill out the survey by November 1!

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 in case of your pairing not being a perfect match. Be curious about your mentor’s experiences. Hearing about others’ experiences can be a powerful way to gain new perspectives. 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/industry interests, intended post-grad location, and other criteria based on your survey responses. Using code designed specifically for this Blue Devil Bridges project, the pairing will be made without bias. The final question allows you to prioritize what aspects are important to you in the survey, which the algorithm takes into account. When pairings go out, mentors and mentees will be sent each other's contact information.

How formal is this mentorship? How often will I speak with my mentor?

One of the criteria for matching is the desired frequency of meetings and how long you and your mentor wish sustain a mentor/mentee relationship. Ultimately, the proximity of you to your mentor is up to you both. We do expect you to represent Duke University with cordial and positive communication, and if you wish to continue the mentoring relationship, our mentee guide will provide advice on navigating that.

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:

How can I further engage with more alumni?

Other existing tools that remain robust resources include the Duke Alumni Network, Ask A Blue Devil, the Duke Alumni LinkedIn group, and the LinkedIn Duke University alumni lookup. Additionally, there is an extensive body of resources available to alumni and students.

How do I proactively manage my mentorship?

Successful relationships happen when partners have thought through their expectations for mentoring. As you enter into your mentoring relationship, be sure to establish clear and reasonable expectations. Be prepared to talk with your mentor about what your needs are. Articulate your career goals, ideas and dreams (you don’t have to have these all figured out). Plan the topics or questions you would like to discuss with your mentor for each session. Goals will guide the relationship and your conversations.

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.

I have another question, how can I get in contact with the Blue Devil Bridges team?

Don't hesitate to email us at! We are here to help.


FOR Mentors

No one has contacted me, what should I do?


We ask our mentees to take the initiative to reach out to their mentor for the first interaction. If you haven’t heard from them in a reasonable timeframe, feel free to reach out to them.

What if I haven't gotten a response from my mentee? 

Everyone is juggling many priorities - school, family, work, and life in general. If you've reached out and have not received a response, send a gentle reminder. If your mentee hasn’t responded to your initial communication after a few weeks, you can reach out to and we can assist or re-match you.

What should I do if scheduling conflicts arise?

Communicate proactively. If a meeting needs to be rescheduled, work together to find an alternative time that suits both of your schedules.

What if I no longer have time to be a mentor?

We understand that things come up, so if your situation has changed, please let us know and we will make reassignments as needed.


What if I'm not happy with my match?

We know that the matching function has limitations, and we are committed to helping each of you make the best match possible. In those cases, please contact us at to discuss your priorities. Your time is valuable, and we want you to feel you are getting the best out of this program.

What if I am concerned about my mentee?

If you are concerned about a student's health or behavior, and your concern is not an emergency, please submit a Duke Reach report: You may also refer students to the following services: Counseling and Psychological Services - Students can either call 919-660-1000 or visit in person. TimelyCare - A free, 24/7, tele-mental health platform. Students can seek an urgent appointment or participate in ongoing virtual therapy with a mental health practitioner. If there is an emergency, please call Duke University Police at (919) 684-2444. 

I have another question, how can I get in contact with the Blue Devil Bridges team?

Don't hesitate to email us at! We are here to help.

mentorship resources



Meet the team

Program Leads


Navya Belavadi

Founder + Co-President

Heather Raslan


I’m a senior from Greensboro, NC and studying Economics, Decision Sciences, and Psychology. In the past in DSG, I co-led the Blue Devil Buddies program and was involved in the Syllabus Bank pilot. I am extremely passionate about mentorship and excited to be bringing this new project to life with the help of the Academic Affairs committee!

I’m a junior from the Chicagoland area majoring in neuroscience and passionate about learning how systems (especially healthcare systems) operate. In my time on DSG, I have especially been drawn to do project work relating to mentorship and am excited to see how the Blue Devil Bridge initiative will grow.


Aiden Pasinsky headshot.jpeg

Aiden Pasinsky

Lead; Class of 2026


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