Mentoring is the coaching of engineering students by railway industry professionals. These relationships help contribute to the professional development of both the person who does the coaching – the Mentor – and the person coached – the Mentee. Mentoring relationships enable both individuals to build new skills, build self-confidence, and grow professionally.
The goal of the AREMA Mentoring Program is to give students (“Mentees”) an introduction into the challenging and rewarding career opportunities in railway engineering. At the minimum the Mentee should gain a greater understanding in the following areas:
- Railway industry in general – what it is, what it does and how it is structured.
- Importance of rail transportation to a healthy, environmentally sustainable, and energy efficient economy.
- Applicability of specific engineering disciplines.
- Relative roles of private and public entities.
- Potential employment opportunities and the differences between railroad, government, consultant and supplier entities.
- Difference in opportunities between the freight and passenger sectors.
- Other sources of information about the railway industry.
For the Mentor, this program provides an opportunity to share the passion for a career in railroad engineering.
Read more information about the Mentoring Program here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is AREMA?
The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA) is a professional association dedicated to the development and advancement of both technical and practical knowledge and recommended practices pertaining to the design, construction and maintenance of railway infrastructure. It is a volunteer organization whose members form the working committees that create these specifications, standards, and recommended practices.
Who is eligible to be a Mentee?
A mentee is a current AREMA Student member who completes the Mentee Application.
Who are the Mentors?
Your Mentor will be an AREMA member who has volunteered to be a resource for you, to offer communication, guidance, and real-world experience from the practical application of engineering for railways. Mentors are typically assigned to Mentees based on common interests and geographic convenience. Mentors have committed to meet or communicate with you at least once per semester/term. Mentors are typically senior engineering officers of railroads, transit agencies, consulting firms, suppliers or contractors with many years of good and bad “lessons learned” that they want to share with young professionals. Some volunteer Mentors are more recent graduates.
What activities might I experience?
Your mentor will hold an initial conversation with you, preferably in person, where you will set common objectives for the mentoring period. Your Mentor will then follow up with periodic contact. Some of these contacts may be telephone calls or field trips. Of Course, you may communicate with your Mentor at any time for any reason. These communications are a chance to “back check” some of the theory taught at university level, and to explore practical subjects beyond the course material such as regulatory constraints, leadership, communication on the job, and cost and financial aspects of the profession.
This is not a course; there are no tests, problem sets, or homework. However, you may be asked evaluate your mentoring experience so that we can improve this program.
How much time will it take?
You should plan on devoting at least an hour per month. If you and your Mentor can arrange a field trip, that may require more time.
What’s in it for me?
A mentoring program is an excellent way to prepare for your job interviews and your first professional employment. It is another step in developing networking within your profession and it is a chance to see how engineering is managed and applied in actual project work. The mentoring program is free, and it will probably be fun.
Have a question about AREMA's Mentoring Programs? Please contact Lisa Hall. Click here to send an email