Luiss aims to be more than just a place to study: the University’s goal is to create a network of contacts and experiences between students and graduates. I’d always heard about it, but I got to see it for myself with the Mentoring program, a bridge between generations. In fact, after participating, I regretted that it didn’t exist when I was a student.
I think that for Law graduates – speaking about the Department I know best – it can be difficult to find your place in the job market. Law is still a degree program with general profiles that can lead you to so many different careers, professions and opportunities, making it that much more important to have someone who offers you advice and assistance. And so often, thesis advisors and tutors don’t have all the answers.
Often, it is other graduates that have the greatest will to transmit, to advise, and to listen. I’ve realized that mentors are excellent “glues” between individuals from different and often distant generations, brought together by the fact that they studied in the same university and have the same goal to inspire and stimulate future professionals through the experiences of older alumni.
Of course, being a university professor, I often follow and offer advice to young graduates, But, as a former Luiss student, I accepted the challenge to become a mentor with a pinch of pride, that pride that only “your” university can give you.
At Luiss, I met well-prepared but often lost students. Scared to make a choice. Go into the magistrature or become a lawyer? Would it be better to go abroad or do a master’s program? These are questions for a psychic, definitely not for a mentor. But perhaps a graduate with more experience in the job market can offer young students a better understanding of their opportunities, as well as a pinch of the security necessary.
My mentees had so many doubts, and nowhere to direct their queries as families, professors, friends and tutors are not always the right people to turn to.
Instead, the sort of hybrid mentor can offer the right wisdom to cling to in the most difficult moments after graduation.
Over my career I’ve learned two things. First of all, that merit exists. Then, that working hard takes you places. But you need to study and stay dedicated, especially in this world in transformation.
I’ve also learned that life is like a funnel: you can’t take travel multiple roads at the same time. There isn’t enough time to do everything well, and you risk giving only half on every front.
These might seem like banal observations, yet they were the foundation of my professional growth, and I had to learn them on my own… perhaps because thirty years ago, nobody had ever thought of the Mentor program.
Law Professor Alfonso Celotto
Full Professor of Constitutional Law
Università degli Studi Roma Tre