Social Work mentoring benefits alumni as well as recent grads

Jeanne Dallman And Jenny Steinberg
CSU alumna Jeanne Dallman (BSW, ’82) mentored recent grad Jenny Steinberg (BSW, ’19) through the School of Social Work’s Alumni Network.

The mentoring program within the School of Social Work’s Alumni Network brings together recent graduates and alumni in purposeful and mutually rewarding relationships. All Colorado State University Social Work graduates are welcome to participate.

The application window for the Alumni Network mentoring program is now open. The program will run from January-June 2020; applications are due Friday, December 13. Below, recent mentoring volunteer Jeanne Dallman shares thoughts about the program, and why alumni should consider serving as a mentor to a recent social work grad.

Why did you become a mentor?

I had been thinking about how to “pass it on” to a profession I love–after 35 years as a social worker. I was grateful when Sarah [Rudisill, distance liaison for the Center for Lifelong Learning and Outreach Education (CLOE) in the School of Social Work] reached out with this mentoring opportunity. My education at CSU was an incredible learning experience, so being a mentor for a recent grad seemed like fun.

What was the time commitment like?

Jenny and I met to establish goals and agreed to meet twice monthly for mentoring, once by Face Time and once in person. So the time commitment of between 45-120 minutes was very manageable.

How did you like working with your mentee?

I enjoyed meeting with Jenny and sharing the hills and valleys of this profession that I love, and supporting her as she starts her career path. I hope it normalized her challenges and questions with the perspective of social work as a career. It was interesting to hear about her education and field experiences, and it provided me with the opportunity to reflect. It always helps me to remember, in the midst of this difficult work, what I’m doing and why.

What was the biggest takeaway, both positive and negative, from your experience?

My biggest take away was we all need mentoring and a community, to do this healing work while preserving our sense of self. I have a mentor that I have been meeting with over the last 15 years and seminars that I attend on a routine basis despite my wealth of experience. I think Jenny appreciated hearing that even older social workers appreciate and value support too.

What would you advise others who are thinking about getting involved with the mentoring program?

Yes! Yes! Yes! Become a mentor. It enriched my life, and I hope hers also, as she embarks on this wild and crazy ride of a career in social work!

About the Alumni Network Mentoring Program

The School of Social Work’s Alumni Network exists to help our social work graduates find jobs, receive support and shared expertise through mentoring, and stay in touch with lifelong friends. Alumni also serve as field instructors, guest lecturers, and workshop presenters for current programs.

Launched in 2018, the Alumni Network’s mentoring program brings together alumni in mutually rewarding relationships for mentoring in a diverse range of social work fields. All alumni 3+ years post-graduation are welcome to make connections to help recent social work grads build successful careers and have a lasting impact on our alumni community.

The School of Social Work is a part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.