Imprint Alumni Coach

i-Programs have been the cornerstone initiative of the Illinois Leadership® Center (ILC) since opening our doors. Only occurring once per year (usually on a Saturday in February), Imprint is the largest i-Program each year.

This program focuses on competencies necessary for displaying leadership during times of personal and professional transition. Students develop skills in managing themselves during times of change; and learn how to develop, and maintain, the personal and professional networks necessary to sustain success in any environment.

The Illinois Leadership Center is seeking University of Illinois alumni to serve as Alumni Coaches for our Imprint i-Program! 

To express your interest in being an Imprint Alumni Coach, please fill out the interest form:

To learn more about our i-Programs, go to

For questions about becoming or being a coach, please contact Marcus Kelley at




Role Description

Alumni Coaches are Small Group Facilitators for the Imprint i-Program. Coaches are asked to practice the following:

  • Lead small group discussions with 8-10 students
  • Share their own personal stories of success and challenge around transition in their own lives.
  • Develop and foster positive relationships with the students.
  • Challenge the student to grow and excel, while supporting them in their current skills and level of development
  • Provide insight, advice, and feedback to students throughout (and after) the program

By definition, a facilitator is “a person…that makes an action or process easy or easier.” However, effective facilitators have to wear many hats in any given time.

Here eight distinct roles that a facilitator is likely to play:

  • Motivator: From the rousing opening statement to the closing words of cheer, you ignite a fire within the group, establish momentum, and keep the pace.
  • Guide: You know the steps of the process the group will execute from beginning to end and carefully guide the participants through each step in turn.
  • Questioner: You listen carefully to the discussion and quickly analyze comments to formulate questions that help guide a productive group discussion and challenge the group when appropriate.
  • Bridge Builder: You create and maintain a safe and open environment for sharing ideas. Where other people see differences, you find and use similarities to establish a foundation for building bridges to consensus.
  • Clairvoyant: Throughout the session, you are attuned to signs of strain, weariness, aggravation, and disempowerment, and respond in advance to prevent dysfunctional behavior.
  • Peacemaker: Although it is generally better to avoid direct confrontations, should it happen, you step in quickly to reestablish order and direct the group toward a constructive resolution.
  • Taskmaster: You are ultimately responsible for keeping the session on track. This entails tactfully cutting short irrelevant discussions, preventing detours, and maintaining a consistent level of detail throughout the session.
  • Praiser: At every opportunity, you should praise participants for good effort, progress, and results – praise well, praise often, praise specifically.


Time Commitment

Alumni Coaches are asked and expected to arrive to campus the Friday evening before the Saturday’s program to attend the facilitator training session to prepare for the program. Dinner is provided after the training.  

Alumni Coaches are expected to be present for the entirety of the program. Programs are typically on Saturdays between 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Lunch is provided to all participants and facilitators. Following Saturday’s program, Alumni Coaches are invited to join the ILC staff for dinner if still in town. 

While the Leadership Center is not able to cover travel expenses for Alumni Coaches, we do provide hotel accommodations during your stay in Champaign – Urbana if needed.

All facilitation materials and any resources will be shared weeks ahead of the program. Facilitators are asked to review the material prior to training so some additional preparation time may be needed.




Opportunity Benefits

While serving as an Alumni Coach does require a time commitment, there are many perks to volunteering as a coach that could be both personally and professionally beneficial. Below are just a few examples:

  • Rejuvenated Illini Sprit- Coaches have the opportunity to step back onto campus, interact with today’s Illinois students, and reminisce about their college days. 
  • Improved Skills - Coaches have the opportunity to foster their own leadership skills while working with their students.
  • Expanded Network - Coaches have the opportunity to meet other alumni and professionals who are also serving as coaches.
  • Fresh Perspectives - Coaches have the opportunity to gain new perspectives from their students through their interactions and experiences together.  


Selection Process

Each year, the ILC will invite between 20-30 alumni to serve as Alumni Coaches.

It is our intention to have a wide-diverse group of Alumni Coaches each year at our program to reflect our student participants. So with this in mind, we try to have a group of coaches who represents each academic college, as well as who comes from various demographic backgrounds and career paths. Prior facilitation experience is not a requirement to be an Alumni Coach. 

To express your interest in being an Imprint Alumni Coach, please fill out this form:

Invitations to be an Alumni Coach start to go out six months before the next scheduled program (typically September) and will continue until spots are filled. Also whether you were invited or not, the ILC staff will keep your interest form on file up to three years.