Vocational Service



Mentor Program
Intern Program
Rotarian Personal Board of Directors
Repository of Rotarians’ Professional and “Extra-Curricular” Expertise



Richard Hackman & Bill Doyle


The Mentor Program aims to provide meaningful assistance to young professionals as they enter the workforce and progress in their careers, applying Rotarians’ personal investment of support, experience, contacts, and advice.

Graduating seniors or recent graduates who are first generation college students often lack perspective, family knowledge, or college career advice to optimize their entry to and success in the workplace. The PAUR mentor program teams each mentee with two Rotarian mentors who can provide encouragement and advice on a range of challenges including career goals, job search best practices, interview preparation, hiring negotiations, and workplace dynamics.

PAUR teams with two local organizations

College Fund (PCF). Fund that provides scholarships to support bay area students who are the first in their families to attend college. Scholarship recipients attend colleges and universities nationwide. PCF provides organizational support from mentors to help scholarship recipients navigate college. PCF has expanded from 100 to 300 in recent years.

Pursuit of Excellence (POE). All-volunteer organization that provides about 120 college scholarships to bay area students, also first in their families to attend college. Scholarship recipients attend local colleges and receive organizational support from POE volunteers to help them navigate college.

In past years 16 Rotarians have mentored 8 mentees. The process starts with a “speed dating” evening where prospective mentees and mentors have brief discussions, followed by the prospective mentees ranking prospective mentors for fit. Based on these choices, the program assigns mentors to mentees. Each mentor/mentee group arranges its own meetings and discussions. All program participants get together one or more times to discuss experiences, common challenges, and choices faced by mentees.


The Intern Program aims to find meaningful paid summer jobs for first generation rising college seniors.

Rotarians use their contacts to identify meaningful summer employment opportunities for rising first generation college seniors. They coach students on resume, interview, and other job-hunting techniques. PCF and POE refer interested students to the program. Where meaningful work experience is offered by a nonprofit unable to pay some or all of a student’s income needs, PAUR and POE may provide financial support for the student.

Since the program began two years ago, students have been placed in both for-profit companies such as Mercedes Benz R&D Division, and non-profits such as Stanford Athletic Department, SLAC National Laboratory, Benentech, and the Ravenswood Family Health Center. To date, two participating employers hired their interns as permanent employees after the students graduated the following year from college. [The attached photos are of Interns placed.]

Quote from one of the students we placed, ”I would like to take this time to thank you personally for all of your help as this means so much to me knowing that there are people who believe in me as much as you do. Your support motivates me evermore to work my best and hardest to succeed in everything I do, and I hope one day I could help people just as you have helped me. You have given me inspiration which I am beyond grateful for. Thank you.” N.A.


This teams up 4 – 8 Rotarians who are contemplating or undergoing career changes. They act as each others’ “personal Board of Directors,” offering perspective, advice, and contacts. Fellow Rotarians, in addition to being creative problem solvers, offer constructive but independent perspective that does not carry the emotional or professional baggage of family or colleagues. The group’s discussions are discrete.


At one breakfast, Rotarians filled out questionnaires on their professional skills, hobbies, and involvements with charitable organizations. The Vocational Committee collected and distributed this information so Rotarians may know where other Rotarians have common interests or can provide help entering a new arena.