Become a Mentor!
The active engagement, enthusiasm, and support of ACG alumni are integral to shaping and realizing the goals of the ACG community. If you would like to become a mentor to a Deree student, or ACG alum, to share valuable knowledge and insights, sign up to the ACG Connect Mentoring Program.
Key Info for Mentors and Mentees
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring has many definitions. One of the most widely used is the following: Mentoring is a relationship between a senior person, in terms of experience, who provides guidance as well as career and emotional support to a junior person. Mentoring relationships can develop informally or formally. There are also other forms of mentoring like one-off requests or short-term mentoring relationships.
Why is ACG providing a mentoring program via the ACG Connect Alumni networking platform?
ACG wants to build online mentoring relationships between our alumni and student communities in order to foster meaningful relationships that will help our students and young alumni achieve their goals.
What is the aim of the mentoring program?
The ACG Connect alumni mentoring program aims to:
- Enable mutual learning and development to take place in supported one-to-one mentoring relationships.
- Provide an opportunity for mentees to take responsibility for managing their own career development.
What is a Mentor?
Mentors are experienced professionals who have agreed to share their skills, knowledge and experience with mentees. They may also be recent graduates who are willing to share their experience of how to find jobs or internships.
Who can volunteer to be a mentor?
We welcome the participation of all our Deree and Pierce alumni from our most senior members to more early-stage professionals. You can be an effective mentor at any level:
- Mentors can be of any age and at any stage in their career. It’s about sharing expertise and knowledge.
- Mentors can be from any industry as well as from anywhere in the world.
Mentors should be willing to learn and develop their leadership and communication skills through these mentoring partnerships.
How do I become a mentor?
If you selected the mentoring option during your registration on ACG Connect, you will be visible on the platform as a mentor. If a student or other alum chooses you from the directory as a prospective mentor, then you will receive a mentoring request via the platform, which you can choose to accept or reject. It is entirely up to you!
If you haven’t opted in to become a mentor during your registration, you can do it at any time by editing your profile in settings.
What sort of time commitment does it involve?
It’s up to you. You decide exactly how much time you would like to devote to this program. When volunteering as a mentor, you can choose from a list of mentoring services that range from taking a few questions over email, to offering internships or/and jobs. You stay in control, and are able to modify your offered services at any time.
How many people should I mentor?
A mentor can decide how many mentees s/he wishes to accept, by indicating this in the settings option. For those who are new to mentoring, it may be appropriate to engage with just one or two to begin with, monitor progress with them, and take on others as and when you feel comfortable to do so.
Do I have to accept someone’s mentoring request?
The platform affords the mentor the opportunity to accept or decline a mentee, depending upon the information given by the mentee. If insufficient information is initially given, you may request more information before making a determination.
Suggestions before making a commitment as a mentor:
- Consider your previous experience as a mentor. Is this your first time in this role? Think carefully about your goals and what you want to gain from being a mentor. Be realistic in how much time you can commit and the frequency of contact. Start off with one mentee.
- If you are an experienced mentor, you may feel that you can take on more than one mentee – but do not take on too many at any one time. Know your limits.
- Be open to relationships with mentees regardless of whether they are interested in your specific sector – as valuable guidance can come from all career paths.
- Control the relationship and its expectations.
- Listen without evaluating or judging.
- Ask questions and share expertise.
- Assess existing skills and help identify skill gaps.
- Focus on actions that will achieve the mentee’s goals.
- Follow through on commitments.
- Hide your mentoring profile if temporarily unable to help mentees, and respond when active.
Step forward today and become an ACG alumni mentor! Join ACG Connect and select the type of mentoring relationship that best suits you.
How do I become a mentee?
To become a mentee, simply log on to the platform, and click on the mentoring tab. The system will match you with a mentor(s), but you can also search for a mentor by selecting a profile among the ones who have chosen the mentoring option. If they have, you can send them a request via the platform.
In this request you should include a personal statement, i.e. who you are, what you study, or your job role, what your aspirations and expectations are, and so forth. What you include in this personal statement is up to you, but remember a comprehensive and clear message will increase your chances! You and your mentor(s) can decide on how you will communicate – by email, skype, google, or messenger. But you also need to decide what kind of mentoring help you require.
Types of Mentoring Requests
- One-off request: Do you need someone to review your cover letter or CV? Then consider a “flash mentoring” or “speed mentoring” relationship where you just ask the mentor for some quick advice.
- Short-term mentoring support: Ask a mentor to help you prepare for an interview, for example – where you need an overview of the sector and help on answering questions.
- Open mentoring relationship: Find someone who wants a longer-term mentorship, who can help you over time to focus on achieving your goals.
In the same way, the mentor can decide what kind of mentoring he/she would like to provide or even receive. Mentoring is not only about alums mentoring students, but also about alums mentoring alums. Also, you can be a mentor and a mentee at the same time!
What are the main questions that I need to ask myself and commitments I need to make before I request a mentorship?
- Think carefully about what you want from the mentorship. What are your goals? Are they specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound?
- Is this your first experience as a mentee? It is best to have just one mentor at a time to begin with. This is particularly important for students.
- Be willing to take responsibility for your mentoring relationship.
- Be open-minded and allow yourself to see things in new ways.
- Be open to seeking mentors outside a specific subject or sector – as valuable guidance can come from all careers and paths.
- Be receptive to feedback.
- Do not seek personal or career favors out of the relationship.
- Be clear in what you want to achieve from the mentorship.
- Initiate and be interactive – don’t sit back; it’s a two-way process.
- Take responsibility for yourself and your career development.
- Understand what your mentor expects of you, and allocate time and energy to the mentorship.
- Follow through on commitments.
Seek out your ideal mentor today! Join ACG Connect, click on the mentoring tab, and have the system automatically match you, or search for a mentor who meets your goals.
When and how does the mentoring relationship end?
- The mentoring relationship can end at any time as agreed between the mentor and the mentee, and depending on the type of mentorship.
- When bringing the mentorship to a close, it is important for both the mentor and the mentee to evaluate the process and what has been achieved.
- It is recommended that an evaluation take place before the end, to assess whether the goals set were met or if any of the goals are outstanding. In the end, it becomes the responsibility of the mentee to put into practice what was learned, although you may agree to have some form of interaction in the future.
Celebrate the successes!