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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 96-98

Pods, squads, and crash nights: Alumni mentoring in a Zoom-ing world

1 Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN, USA
2 Development Office, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, St Paul, MN, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Erin D Malone
Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, 225K VMC, 1365 Gortner Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55108.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/EHP.EHP_8_21

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We developed an alumni mentoring system to help support veterinary students during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The goal was to connect students to the outside world and provide support to students who were in increasingly isolated circumstances. Students were separated into “pods” for in-person laboratories, and each pod was assigned to two-to-three mentors. This model did not work well and was exchanged for more targeted efforts. Small group mentoring was provided to those students who requested it, and the remaining alumni were recruited to offer evening conversations to anyone interested. This combination seemed to better meet the needs of students and alumni and provided an avenue to access alumni support from across the country. More structure, enhanced mentor support, and attendance requirements may better meet our mentoring goals for a larger group of students.

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