As our Capitol Pathways alumni network grows, there are are increasing opportunities for past program participants to serve as mentors to current interns.

This year, we have three mentors providing our student cohort with an added and more hands-on layer of support as they navigate their work spaces and the Capitol. 

As this year’s program nears its completion, we asked our mentors a few questions about their mentorship experiences so far.

First up, Robert Harper, Supplier Diversity Program Manager at the University of Minnesota and graduate student at the U’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Q: What has been the highlight for you as a Capitol Pathways  mentor?

RH: The highlight of Capitol Pathways for me has been building relationships with mentees who value my knowledge, insight, and experience as a former Capitol Pathways intern. Being able to help them by connecting them to potential internship and fellowship opportunities as well as connecting them to other professionals in my network has been an extremely humbling experience. I can’t wait to see what they are each doing a year from now!

Q: What is one big take-away (learning) for you during your time as a Capitol Pathways mentor?

RH: One big take away for me has been learning that each mentee has different past and current experiences from their peers. It has been fun trying to navigate their interests and experiences while hopefully building what they feel to be a meaningful relationship.

Q: What has been challenging? 

RH: The number of mentees has been extremely challenging. I think the program would benefit from adding two or three more mentors (if funding allows for it). At times, I felt guilty or responsible for not being able to connect with all of my mentees on the same level, however, I understand that we are all human and the connections that were meant to be made, will be made. I believe it was fate for me to be matched with some of the mentees to offer some particular piece of information, and it has been fun trying to uncover or reveal that opportunity with each mentee.

> Read our Citizens League Voice profile on Robert

> Learn more about our Capitol Pathways mentors


Thursday June 6, 2019: You’re invited to celebrate a successful fourth year of Capitol Pathways, the only paid internship program in Minnesota creating a policy career pathway for college students of color! Join us for our End of Session Celebration!