Volunteers: Guidelines for Success-Career and Professional Development Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Volunteers: Guidelines for Success

You, as a Professional Network (ProNet) Volunteer, will have freedom and choice around how you choose to share your time and expertise with Carnegie Mellon students and alumni using TartanTrak in their job search. Through your TartanTrak account you will have the ability to control the number of TartanTrak members you are willing to connect with. Please note that your contact information is not viewable by members.

The Professional Network is accessible by all Carnegie Mellon TartanTrak job seekers. Through their TartanTrak accounts, students and alumni will be able to view a list of all volunteers in the Professional Network. The profile information you have completed will be available for members to review.

If the member is interested in connecting with you through TartanTrak, a system generated email will be sent to you informing you that a member would like you to contact him/her. The member's name, email address and personal message will be included in this email. Through your TartanTrak profile, you will be able to control the number of potential contacts.

It is the student or alumnus' responsibility to respond to the emails. Please keep in mind that the Career and Professional Development Center cannot control when or if you receive a reply.

Tell us your success stories. Email us to let us know about your experiences!

You as a ProNet Volunteer: Expectations and Best Practices

Your interactions with a student will supplement the advice and direction provided by each students' assigned college specific Career Consultant and other resources provided by the Carnegie Mellon Career and Professional Development Center.

  • Once you receive an email from a TartanTrak member, we ask that you please contact the student/alumnus within five to seven business days. This will increase your chances of a successful relationship and help to keep the student/alumnus engaged and interested.
  • When responding to a request for assistance, be sure to establish specific goals and expectations together with your student.
  • Keep the relationship career and academically focused.
  • You and the student/alumnus can determine your own level and amount of contact. Connections may be made by email, face-to-face, at university-sponsored events, campus events, or by phone. If the contact is made by phone, please consider who is responsible for placing and paying for the call (especially if it is long distance).
  • Be patient when working with students and recognize opportunities for offering professional advice during your interactions.    
  • Provide a safe environment for students to ask questions and facilitate positive communication.
  • Offer your experiences as an example -- not the rule.
  • Reschedule if you are busy -- it's always better than a "no-show" or an extremely late appointment. But, please try to limit the number of times you reschedule.
  • Promise only what you can deliver. Not delivering can only damage the reputation of the Professional Network program.
  • When meeting face-to-face, please meet only in an appropriate and accessible space for both of you.
  • Complete the Professional Network survey which will be emailed to you at the end of each semester. This will allow us to continue to improve the program and assess its effectiveness. If you are a Carnegie Mellon alumnus, Alumni Relations will also be informed of your volunteer service.

If you have any questions and/or concerns, please contact us at 412-268-2064.