University of Minnesota


President's Emerging Scholars Program

President’s Emerging Scholars Peer Mentor

Applications are due by 12 p.m. on Friday, February 3, 2017. Read the PES Peer Mentor Job Description and Application very carefully for instructions on when and how to submit your application.

The President's Emerging Scholars (PES) Program is a four-year opportunity for select undergraduate students with diverse backgrounds and characteristics. PES students are accomplished, involved, and resilient and receive a number of benefits, including peer mentoring and unique chances for engagement to ensure a positive and successful University of Minnesota experience.

The PES Program ensures timely graduation of its participants by encouraging and supporting academic, career, and personal wellbeing through scholarships, programming, professional advising, and peer mentoring.

PES Peer Mentors help, guide, and educate students in the PES Program over the course of two years. They work closely with PES and other professional staff to support and facilitate student success.


Component 1: Summer Seminar Peer Mentors | At the 5-Day PES Summer Seminar, Peer Mentors build community and lead small groups through digital storytelling workshops.

Component 2: Fall and Spring Peer Mentors | During the academic year, Peer Mentors meet one-on-one with students in the PES Program.

Students may apply to be a Peer Mentor for either Components 1 & 2 or just Component 2. Applications are not accepted for just Component 1.


Component 1

  • Approximately $1700 for May meetings, summer trainings, and work during Summer Seminar
  • Room and board during Summer Seminar

Component 2

  • $10/hour


Component 1

Spring Trainings: April 8, 2017, 10a.m.-4p.m.; April 7, 2018, 10a.m.-4p.m.
End of Year Staff Banquets: April 28, 2017, 5p.m.-7p.m.; April 27, 2018, 5p.m.-7p.m.
2017 May Meeting: May 8, 3p.m.-7p.m.
2017 Summer Training, Workshops, and Preparation: June 1, 3 p.m.-5p.m.; June 2, June 5-9, June 12-16, and June 19-21, 9a.m.-5p.m.
2017 Summer Seminar: June 23-28


Component 2

Spring Trainings: April 8, 2017, 10a.m.-4p.m.; April 7, 2018, 10a.m.-4p.m.
End of Year Staff Banquets: April 28, 2017, 5p.m.-7p.m.; April 27, 2018, 5p.m.-7p.m.
2017 Fall Training: August 18-25, 9a.m.-5p.m.
Staff Meetings: Fridays, 2p.m.-4p.m.
2017 Fall Conference: Saturday, September 23

Approximately 6-10 hours per week in the fall and spring


  • Be enrolled as a full-time, PES, undergraduate student in the fall and spring
  • Component 1 staff should not enroll for classes taking place from June 1 through June 29 and should be available for the May meeting
  • Be available to work 6-10 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters
  • Be available for Component 1 time commitments, if applicable
  • Have a strong desire to assist incoming first-year students and connect them with the University of Minnesota and its resources
  • Have a demonstrated ability to work well with diverse and traditionally underserved student populations
  • Exhibit strong communication, problem solving, follow-through, responsibility, and resourcefulness
  • Demonstrate patience, flexibility, organizational skills, and a willingness to learn
  • Commit to entire 2017-2018 academic year
  • Preference given to students able to stay on for the 2018-2019 academic year
  • Actively participate in all staff meetings, trainings, and PES programs
  • Be committed to equity and social justice


Component 1

  • Participate in and lead a digital storytelling workshop for incoming first-year students

Components 1 and 2

  • Meet regularly and one-on-one with assigned students throughout the academic year
  • Submit well-written contact notes within 48 hours of one-on-one meetings
  • Attend weekly meetings on Friday afternoons from 2 p.m.-4 p.m.
  • Attend and actively participate in all training sessions
  • Participate meaningfully in diversity and social justice education (e.g., class, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender & sexuality, race, religion & spirituality)
  • Serve as a role model and campus resource for all PES students
  • Assist with planning and implementation of PES special programs such as Open House, the Fall Conference, the Homecoming Parade, and ad-hoc educational workshops and social events for PES students


  • Peer Mentors may work in student staff positions across campus only after obtaining approval from PES professional staff (e.g., Orientation Leader, Welcome Week Leader, MCAE Multicultural Kickoff Ambassador, Community Advisor).
  • A student staff member may not be new to the roles of PES Peer Mentor and Community Advisor in Housing & Residential Life in the same year.
  • Ideal candidates are current PES students who will be sophomores or juniors in 2017-2018.



  1. A completed PES Peer Mentor Job Application.
  2. An unofficial University of Minnesota transcript.
  3. A list of three most recent jobs with position information, employment dates, names of supervisors, and supervisors’ email addresses and phone numbers.
  4. A typed application essay, responding to the below prompt. This essay should be no longer than 1 page, single-spaced, in Times New Roman, 12-point font.

Application Essay Prompt

Describe the three most important items a PES Peer Mentor should keep in mind when working with PES students.

Please submit application materials in-person to:

President's Emerging Scholars Program
133 Appleby Hall
128 Pleasant Street SE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455

Applications must be received by 12 p.m. on Friday, February 3, 2017. Applications sent via campus mail or email will not be accepted. Late applications will not be considered.


Students should be available to give a 5-7 minute presentation on one of the following topics during one of the following dates and time frames. PowerPoint presentations are accepted but not required. Presentations will take place in projection capable rooms with UMN WiFi:

Potential Topics

  • A key aspect (e.g., one or two of the 7 steps) of the digital storytelling process as defined by the Center for Digital Storytelling (Components 1 and 2 applicants only) OR
  • Fixed vs. growth mindset, as discussed by Dr. Carol Dweck in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (all applicants) OR
  • A social justice issue of import (e.g., class, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender & sexuality, race, religion & spirituality) (all applicants).

Potential Dates and Time Frames

  • Saturday, February 18, morning
  • Saturday, February 18, afternoon
  • Tuesday, February 21, afternoon
  • Wednesday, February 22, afternoon

Individuals moving forward in the selection process will be contacted via U of M email to complete a 30-minute individual interview between the dates of Monday, February 27 and Friday, March 3.


General Resources

Top Tips for Superstar Presentations:
Building Better Presentations:

Digital Storytelling Resources

Center for Digital Storytelling:
Digital Storytelling Cookbook:
PES Digital Stories:

Mindset and Success Resources

Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck
Academic tenacity: Mindsets and skills that promote long-term learning by Carol Dweck, Gregory Walton, and Geoffrey Cohen

The right mindset for success” by the Harvard Business Review IdeaCast

The power of believing that you can improve” by Carol Dweck
"The power of belief - mindset and success” by Eduardo Briceno


  • Schedule a Practice Interview

Practice or "mock" interviews are the best way to test how you'll perform during the real thing. Career counselors will ask you sample questions and then provide constructive feedback, letting you know what you did well and areas that could be improved. Contact your career center to schedule one today!

Prepare for Your Interview:


Download and print here:


Contact Will O’Berry, a coordinator for the PES Program, with any questions at or 612-626-9995.

Twin Cities Campus: