Walsh College

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Feb 6 2017
Mentorship Programs
1

Mentoring can take many forms both formally or informally.  I’ve been fortunate to have good people in my life starting in high school.  They have paved the way for me to get to where I am today.  In order to have success in your career, a lot of it is due to hard work.  However, you also have to have good people in your corner to pull you up.  It doesn’t just automatically happen.  That is where mentoring can really help, more so than just the occasional networking events.

Michigan Council of Women in Technology

In 2013, I participated in an elaborate mentoring program with Michigan Council of Women in Technology.  In addition to meeting with a matched mentor, mentees were required to participate in scheduled class sessions that focused on leadership topics.  Mentees were also matched up with a team and assigned a director to organize an event for the end of the program.  The team selected a project manager and everyone on the team was expected to pitch in with the work.  I vividly remember having regular conference calls, brainstorming ideas for the event, keeping up with a project plan, and checking in with our director (boss).  It was a lot of work.  However, a ton experience and connections were gained.  That final project really showed a true example of your work ethic.  The following year I returned the favor by participating as a mentor.

My Alma Mater

Last year I participated in a formal mentoring program that was hosted by the college where I received my undergrad degree.  They matched match students and alumni based on background, preferences on meeting, and schedules.  My mentee and I met occasionally and had great conversations.  Topics don’t have to be super elaborate.  In many cases I could see a lot of myself in her.  Very involved in campus life, trying to do too much, and setting high goals after graduation.

Keys to Success

The mentorship programs I’ve participated in were free but do have a formal application process.  Sure does take some time to write answers, but it is well worth the time and energy.

Setting Guidelines

Okay you applied and got matched with a mentor/mentee.  Upon first meeting, the mentor and mentee should determine guidelines. 

  1. Are you going to meet in person, call, virtual meeting? 
  2. Where? 
  3. How often? 

Setting this up front will help keep both parties from sticking to the plan.  Not following through just doesn’t look good on either side.  All of us are busy with school, work, family, and other responsibilities.  But really give it serious consideration if you are up to the time commitment.  Otherwise you run the risk of losing professional creditability.  No one wants that.

Initiative

Generally speaking the mentee should take more of the initiative to set appointments, but should not fall solely on one party.  Every mentoring program has a different structure, but the overall goal is the same.  To learn more about yourself and establish a relationship.  Networking takes all forms.  The benefit of mentoring is that you really get to know the person, their struggles and positive assets.  The potential to have one more person in your corner to pull you up.

Walsh College Mentorship Program

Walsh will soon be hosting a mentorship program.  It includes an April 21 kickoff and June 2 program dinner.  Actual one-on-one work is a two hour commitment that can be formulated based on what the two parties agree upon.  I have signed up.  If you’re a Walsh student or Walsh alum, more details can be found at http://www.walshcollege.edu/mentorprogram.


What is your experience with mentoring?


  Comments

1 Comments so far | Skip to comment form


Jill Peplinski February 6, 2017 at 01:10 pm

Kudos for being a mentor, Jessica! Advice on how to move forward in your career is invaluable! Learning about different paths, networking, and receiving encouragement can make all the difference!



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