I hope you are having a relaxing summer and using this time to explore new interests, catch up with family and friends, and prepare for life at RPI. My name is Molly Monge, and I am the President of the Women at Rensselaer Mentor Program. The WMP Board and I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you and congratulate you on your decision to continue your academic career here at Rensselaer.
WMP was created to ease the transition from high school to college for first-year women. In the past, we have hosted a wide range of social and professional development events to create a community of like-minded women and help them achieve their goals. In response to a survey sent out to all mentors and mentees in the 2018-2019 school year, WMP revised our curriculum to accommodate their requests for a closer community. We now create mentoring groups instead of pairs to inspire robust conversation. We adjusted our goals and mission statement accordingly, and the main focus of our curriculum this year is debunking the imposter syndrome and developing emotional intelligence. We believe that the best leaders and those who succeed in and outside of the classroom are not only emotionally intelligent, but also have the skills necessary to combat the imposter syndrome.
Although your first year at RPI may not be exactly how you envisioned it due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am still confident you will all have a fulfilling, successful, and memorable first year. This year has been a difficult adjustment for all of us, and I commend you for being flexible during these unprecedented times.
The onset of COVID-19 has pushed clubs and organizations like WMP to be extremely creative when planning for the upcoming year. WMP decided to move all activities online, including mentor/mentee meet-ups. We are confident that WMP will continue to provide excellent programming and foster a community of like-minded women at RPI, albeit virtually.
When I started college two years ago, I was super excited about the opportunity to meet new people and explore my interests in STEM. I was also unsure about how my next four years would turn out. My WMP mentor made a big difference in my first year at RPI. She provided me insights on classes, the best resources for me to seek academic assistance, and encouraged me to audition for the Rensselaer Orchestra. Joining the Rensselaer Orchestra has opened up numerous unbelievable opportunities that I did not think a STEM school could provide. I performed at Carnegie Hall during my freshman year, and performed with Josh Groban at EMPAC this past year.
I have met several other important mentors at RPI, including professors, staff, and fellow students. The moment you enter college, you begin forming your professional network. Consider WMP your first bridge in that network, but know that the bridge cannot end there. I challenge all of you to reach out to those who have the knowledge and experiences that can assist you in your career as a student and professional.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions regarding WMP, contacting your mentor/mentee, or life as a Rensselaer Woman. The WMP board is a diverse group of women who have many different majors and expected career paths, and we are here to assist you on your journey through Rensselaer. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The WMP Board is excited to meet you virtually this fall, and we are happy to have you join this supportive community of Rensselaer women.
Stay safe and enjoy your summer!