ELM Environmental Leadership Mentoring

elm logo

ELM's mission is to help Yale YSE students grow professionally through the guidance and advice of alumni, helping them to become environmental leaders and managers in today's world.

The Office of Career and Professional Development manages an annual mentoring program that helps YSE students grow professionally by matching them with a YSE alum. Students and alumni can be matched on such things as career field, country of origin, ethnicity, etc. Students are able to express how they would like to be matched to their mentor. For example, a student might prefer to be matched with an alum of the same ethnicity, or based on location of interest, etc. 

ELM Mentors are dedicated YSE alums who volunteer their time and effort in helping YSE students develop professional skills. As a mentor you provide industry knowledge and advice, job search strategy tips, information about a current event or change in your career field, and so much more! Your background, education, and professional experiences will help support student decision-making in their final year at YSE and beyond. 

Benefits of Becoming an ELM Mentor

  • Stronger connection with the School
  • Learn about the Yale YSE of today
  • Expand your professional network
  • Reconnect with peers
  • Access to Yale YSE talent
  • Professional reflection and personal growth
  • Help develop environmental leaders and managers for today's world
  • Strengthen leadership skills

Expectations of an ELM Mentor

What is expected of an ELM Mentor?
  • Complete the ELM Agreement with your mentee to help outline the structure and expectations of the relationship
  • Work with your mentee to set professional goals for the year
  • Help your mentee build confidence by being supportive 
  • Provide your mentee with honest and constructive feedback in a respectful manner
  • Represent the program and School with integrity

What is not expected of an ELM Mentor?
  • To offer your mentee a job - this is not a job placement program
  • Be endlessly available to your mentee
  • Initiate all contact with your mentee - ELM is a student run program and we encourage our students to initiate contact with his or her mentor
Interested in becoming an ELM Mentor?
Click here to request more info about ELM and here to register to become an ELM mentor today. 
As I move on in my career I am realizing more and more every day what my years at Yale YSE did for me, and how much my time in New Haven has contributed to my success. ELM will give me a chance to reconnect to Yale YSE, and in some small way 'pay it forward' to honor my mentors at Yale.
— Dr. Jean McLain ’97 M.F.S.
Alum Brian Goldberg and students
Photo: Kathy Douglas
Former YSE Alumni Association Board President Brian Goldberg ’03 M.E.M. networking with students after an alumni panel in Kroon Hall.

The Matching Process and Initial Contact with Your Mentee

  • YSE Alumni interested in being an ELM Mentor are invited to create an ELM Profile in our ELM Mentor Database. If you are interested in becoming an ELM mentor, let us know
  • Alumni and students will be matched one-on-one based upon commonalities listed in their ELM profiles.
  • Once a match is made a notification email will be sent to the mentor at the email address provided in their ELM Profile. 
  • The notification email will include the student’s name and contact information, as well as a copy of their resume, so that you can learn about their background before the initial conversation.
  • Students will also be receiving a notification email with their mentor’s name and contact information, and are expected to initiate contact by sending their mentor an introductory email within 48 hours of being notified of their match.
  • During the initial conversation we ask the mentor and mentee to complete, sign, and date the ELM Agreement. The purpose of the agreement is to define guidelines and set expectations for both parties.
Please note, alumni are matched to one ELM Mentee at a time. This unique one-on-one matching allows for both the mentor and mentee to give one another their undivided attention and time, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.

Sample Monthly Timeline of Mentee/Mentor Interaction

Below is a sample timeline to use when formalizing goals and expectations for the first academic year of the mentor match. 

Month 1

·         Complete the ELM Mentoring Agreement and formalize expectations and goals
·         Learn about one another's backgrounds and YSE experiences
·         Consult on coursework and relevancy to future planning with your mentee
Month 2
·         Work with your mentee to develop a networking strategy for the year
·         Discuss the timeframe of job postings for their career field
·         Plan a job search strategy and summer activity if seeking
Month 3
·         Practice with your mentee the art of telling a compelling professional story
·         Work with your mentee to cultivate sources for informational interviewing
·         Review mentee's professional network and strategize about connecting with employers and alumni during academic breaks
Month 4

·         Reflect and discuss mentee's professional activity to date
·         Reflect and discuss mentee's course outcomes to date
·         Review and discuss mentee's extra-curricular activities

Month 5

·         Review your mentee's job search correspondence – email, cover letter, thank you notes, etc.
Month 6

·         Conduct a mock interview with your mentee and offer immediate feedback

Month 7
·         Practice the art of salary negotiating with your mentee

Month 8

·        Review upcoming course and/or professional trajectory
·        Discuss transition from student to employee
·        Discuss ways to stay connected!
ELM is a terrific way to formally engage students with YSE alumni. The alumni network is a big reason why I chose YSE.
— Gordon Clark M.E.M ‘07
Graduates Walking Horizontal

Paving the Way for Students at YSE and Beyond

Questions or Thoughts?

The ELM Leadership Team welcomes your suggestions and feedback for improving our program. We would also like to hear about your positive experiences so that we can showcase your mentoring story to future mentors and mentees. Click here to share your suggestions and experiences.