Career Advisors Network (CAN) Program

80% of jobs are found through personal relationships. Build quality professional connections by using a career research technique, such as informational interviewing, to increase your career knowledge and expand your network.

The CAN program is designed to ease the transition from college to career by connecting students and recent alumni with CAN Mentors - experienced professionals representing various career fields. The goal of this program is to increase your career knowledge by conducting an informational interview with a CAN Mentor.

Participants must attend an orientation to be given access to the CAN program database.

What is a CAN Mentor?

A CAN Mentor is a professional who volunteers his or her time to network with Stony Brook students and recent alumni to provide advice and career insight. Connecting with a CAN Mentor gives you the chance to ask questions about a major, field or career path, and learn from other people’s experiences. Connecting with a CAN Mentor is about making contacts and sharing information - not about asking for a job/internship.

Find a CAN Mentor

Search for a CAN Mentor online using the Mentoring directory.
  STEP 1: After attending a CAN orientation (see the Career Center Calendar of Events)


Go to http://stonybrook.joinhandshake.com and log in.


  STEP 2: Search Mentor Section Click "Mentoring" and "Find Mentors"


'Find Mentors' on the top right menu.
  • Use the general keyword search to find mentors in your interest area.
  • Other popular search filters are Skills, Major and Job Function.
  • Think broadly. Even a CAN Mentor working in a career field different from what you want to pursue can offer valuable advice and guidance in your future decisions.

STEP 3: Request Mentorship For each CAN Mentor you would like to connect with, click the "Request Mentorship"
button to send him or her a message.Click here to view a template messages.

When a CAN Mentor accepts your request, an auto-notification will be sent to the email address. Make sure that your profile points to an email address you check often.



  • Log back into Handshake and click on "Mentoring" on the left menu. You can communicate with the mentor through the messaging system in Handshake.
  • If you can't find a CAN Mentor who fits your interests, email us at nikki.barnett@stonybrook.edu to get CAN Mentor suggestions.

Informational Interviews

An informational interview is a brief meeting, with someone currently working in your field of interest, that offers you an insider’s perspective. The purpose of an informational interview is not to get a job. It’s to better understand a particular position or industry and make potential connections in the field.

If you request an informational interview with a CAN Mentor, he/she will expect something more structured and focused than an informal chat. Treat the informational interview as a business meeting. Prior to the interview, research the company or career and develop a short list of questions that you would like to have answered. For a sample list of questions, visit About Careers.

CAN Mentor Search Help

Students and alumni have full access to the SB Handshake Mentor Directory. We encourage you to browse CAN Mentor profiles and self-select CAN Mentors in your career area. If you're not able to find someone based on the search criteria available, feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to help you with the search. Email us at nikki.barnett@stonybrook.edu.

Hear what CAN Mentors and mentees said about their experiences being matched in the Career Advisors Network (CAN) program: