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New Orleans Saints, Pelicans seeking UL Lafayette students for mentorships

Posted at 9:30 AM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 10:30:03-04

By UL Lafayette Office of Communications and Marketing

New Orleans’ pro football and basketball franchises are looking to add University of Louisiana at Lafayette students to their teams this semester.

The Saints and Pelicans aren’t seeking UL Lafayette students who can catch passes or drain jump shots, though. They’re after students from a range of majors[] who are interested in careers in industries such as sports, tourism and entertainment.

The franchises are collaborating with the University’s Office of Career Services for the eight-week New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans Mentorship Program.

The franchises will select students who have applied to participate in the mentorship program. Students will be teamed with a staff member from one of the organizations with expertise related to their academic and career interests.

Students will meet virtually with their mentors at least once a week, and have opportunities for in-person visits, including at Saints and Pelicans facilities in New Orleans. The mentors will provide professional guidance and help the students build industry relationships, said Kim Billeaudeau, director of the Office of Career Services[].

“The program is strategically structured to enable students to gain professional and career readiness skills essential in today's job market,” she explained.

Students enrolled in any of 18 undergraduate programs with at least 60 credit hours and 3.0 or higher GPA’s are eligible; students enrolled in five graduate programs can also apply. The deadline is Friday, Sept. 3.

The Saints and Pelicans Mentorship Program is part of a larger collaboration that began in 2019, when UL Lafayette became an Official Higher Education Partner of both teams[]. The three-year collaboration provides University students with scholarships[] and networking opportunities.

The mentorship program was launched last spring. Ian Gregory-Graff, a UL Lafayette student from Scranton, Pa., who’s seeking a master’s degree in informatics, was a member of the inaugural cohort.

He found the time he spent with a senior business intelligence analyst with the New Orleans Saints “extremely beneficial.” Gregory-Graff said the program enabled him to “dispel many anxieties about navigating the modern job market,” and receive guidance about bolstering his skill set and crafting an effective resume.

“Discussing everything from the general landscape of the field, how to best pursue job opportunities, and the various aspects of the day to day operations in such a respected organization was extremely reassuring and advantageous for my future prospects,” he said.

Learn more about the Saints and Pelicans Mentorship Program[], including eligibility requirements and how to apply.

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