Board-Student MenteesYou are warmly invited to participate in NEC’s popular Board-Student Mentor Program, which connects undergraduate and graduate students to board members and alumni. This optional program provides a unique opportunity for you to engage in meaningful interactions with NEC Board Members and alumni—people who share a love of music, care deeply for NEC and its students, and who want to learn more about a musician’s perspective.

While most Mentors are not professional musicians, they can offer social and worldly perspectives that can enhance your experience at NEC. Through this program, we hope you will get acquainted with Boston and surrounding communities while enjoying experiences and receiving guidance not necessarily taught in the classroom.

—Marie Llewellyn, Chair, and Barbara Raney, Program Coordinator

Board-Student MenteesThings to Keep in Mind

  • You will be thoughtfully paired with a Mentor who shares some common interests with you, and/or whose personality and expectations complement yours.
  • The program is designed to be “free form.” Once matched, Mentors and Mentees are expected to initiate and maintain contact with one another throughout the year.
  • A series of group events planned during the school year include a festive kick-off dinner, outdoor activities, intimate parties at Mentor homes, and a year-end celebration. They are a lot of fun and definitely one of the favorite aspects of the program. Mentors are asked to host their Mentee(s) at events and cover any event costs (which are typically minimal).

The Role of the Student Mentee

  • Stay in touch with your Mentor throughout the year. Respond to their e-mails or phone calls; update them on your activities from time to time; and arrange to get together with them at least two to three times a semester.
  • Share your NEC student experience with your Mentor.
  • Invite your Mentor to attend your performances at NEC and throughout the city.
  • Provide feedback about the mentor program at the end of the year.

Benefits: Forming a relationship with someone who has perhaps had different life experiences from you and who has pursued a different career path from you can be very rewarding and enlightening.

“Especially since I’m in a grad program, meeting people in ‘real life’ is an invaluable experience that puts my degree in perspective and helps me think about my future outside of NEC.”
—Current Mentee

The Role of the Mentor

  • Provide opportunities for interaction with the student Mentee such as meeting for coffee, attending a performance together, or inviting the student over for a “home cooked” meal.
  • Provide experiences and guidance not necessarily taught in the classroom.
  • Be a non-financial resource to the student.

Benefits: The program is an opportunity for Mentors to become further integrated into the Conservatory community by getting to know an NEC student on a personal basis.

“Overall, I have been delighted to participate in the program, which has offered me not only valuable insight into the Conservatory experience for a student, but delight in witnessing the blossoming of them socially and musically throughout the year. It is indeed a delight and a privilege to be a mentor.”
—Current Mentor

Suggested Activities

  • Try to meet two to three times per semester.
  • Meet for coffee at a local café.
  • Visit local museums and attend concerts together.
  • Invite your Mentor to sit in on one of your lessons or rehearsals.
  • Invite your Mentor to your concerts or recitals.

Mentee Feedback

  • I loved getting to know my mentor and spending time with him and his family. I greatly enjoyed seeing new sights in Boston with him, but also showing him new things about music and bringing him to my own concerts.
  • Dinners with my mentor are always fun. It’s nice to talk about things with adults who are not stressed about the NEC usuals (auditions, exams, etc.)
  • A highlight for me was performing a house concert at my mentor’s home. She also helped me make contact with a concert presenter in Boston.
  • Feeling connected to an individual who has had so many unique experiences different from my own.
  • Seeing my mentors in the audience of every performance I’ve had over the last four years. I loved this program. My mentors are so dedicated and wanted to learn so much about my music. They were my biggest fans and never missed a performance.
  • My mentor shows such care and concern for me!
  • The reason I applied to the program was to improve my English and expand my social life in Boston. Now these two aspects have both improved, thanks to the mentor program!
  • These last four years have been phenomenal, and the mentor program has played a great role in my overall development as a classical artist.
  • My mentor was a great fit. He had a lot of great advice.
  • Having dinner at my mentor’s house and discussing so many different musical and non-musical things!
  • Meeting a fantastic person and having someone cheering for me and helping with the dress rehearsals and pre-recitals.
  • I love my mentor! Going places I don’t normally go is always fun!
  • Going out with my mentor and getting together with all of the other mentees/mentors at the beginning of the year dinner; the dinner parties and the Tavern Club year-end event. Such a wonderful experience. I loved performing for and with my peers.

Mentor Feedback

  • It’s a first-class program!
  • This is the best way I know of for a Board member to become involved at NEC.
  • As an older graduate student, our mentee was able to connect with us on an adult level. We were able to help him make contacts and other networking.
  • It’s a wonderful program and so beneficial to the students.
  • I feel like my mentee and I were a lovely match. I absolutely adore this program!
  • Our mentees have all been wonderful, serious students who have shared their musical interests with me.
  • Both my mentees are hardworking, responsible, smart, persevering, and a delight to know.
  • I love being a mentor. It is so exciting to work with these young people who are so passionate about music!
  • It’s an excellent program, very rewarding.
  • I think the mentor program is amazing! I see it happening all over NEC—at concerts, in the hallways, at Panera. It’s a total win-win.

Questions? Contact:
Barbara Raney
Office of the President

New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115-5018