What we do

Established in 2021 by a group of first-year graduate students in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, Real Talk Buddies seeks to fill the niche of informal mentorship, where undergraduate students can connect and discuss issues or aspirations with graduate student mentors without the expectation of homework or project completion, and without strict meeting requirements. Real Talk Buddies provides the space to discuss issues of academics, graduate school, career, identity, family, and much more. We aim to provide a safe and encouraging space where students can feel that they are supported in their individual needs. Through this program, we encourage greater undergraduate student retention, inclusivity, confidence, competence for pursuing graduate school, and a sense of ‘I can do this’ during their undergraduate career. 

Real Talk Buddies upholds and takes action on principles of community by centering inclusivity, community, diversity, academic excellence, and trying to close disparities in academia caused by institutional issues of discrimination.

What Mentors and Mentees are saying

“I like how flexible we were with our meetups, and my mentor was very knowledgeable in responding to my questions (ex. masters schools, what hard skills environmental jobs are looking for, mentioning individuals that might be relevant to my interest)”

My buddy attends our lab group meetings which I think is great! That way we get to check in a little and she has more exposure to other graduate students, research, and my PI [advisor]”

“My buddy and I realized that we share a love of checking out new cafés, so we planned our times together around that shared interest. It was bonding to try coffee shops together and discuss them”

“I love this program! It has been super cool to learn from my mentor, Kieren, this semester. I especially appreciate how flexible the program is, and how it’s really up to us to find time to meet/communicate”

“I thought my mentor, Jasmine, was really helpful! We talked twice over the course of the semester and I thought she gave really great feedback. I felt like I benefitted a lot from joining this program”

“I really liked everything about it and how it is very catered to what you need