What is Mentoring?
Mentoring has various definitions. One of the most widely used is the following: Mentoring is a relationship between a senior person in terms of age and experience that provides guidance as well as career and emotional support to a junior person. Mentoring relationships can develop informally or formally.
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 to foster meaningful relationships that will help our students and young Alumni to 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 gaining graduate jobs.
Who should volunteer to be a mentor?
We welcome the participation of all our Deree and Pierce Alumni from more 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.
- 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 then it is listed on your profile that you are willing to help by mentoring students or other Alumni. If a student or another 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.
What sort of time commitment does it involve?
You decide exactly how much time you would like to devote through this program. When volunteering as a mentor you choose from a list of mentor services that range from taking a few questions over email through to offering internships/jobs. You stay in control, being 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. 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, dependent upon the information given by the mentee. If insufficient information is given initially, you may request more before making a determination.
Should I include an invitation to my place of work or for workplace experience?
This is entirely up to you. You can decide to offer a work experience invitation to someone whom you were initially mentoring over the phone. There are no hard and fast rules as to how the relationship should progress.
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 one time. Know your limits.
- Be open to relationships with mentees regardless of whether they are interested in your specific sector – 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, respond when active.
Step forward today and become an ACG alumni mentor! Join ACG Connect and select the type of mentoring program that better suits you.
How do I become a mentee?
To become a mentee, simply login to the platform, and then search for a mentor via the directory. You will see on their profile if they have chosen the mentoring option. If yes, you can send a mentoring request via the platform to your prospective mentor. In this request you should include a personal statement, i.e. who you are, what you study or your job role, aspirations/expectations from the mentoring etc. What you include in this personal statement is up to you, but remember a comprehensive and clear message will increase your chances!
How does it work?
First, you need to decide what kind of mentoring help you need.
- 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’re just asking 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 relationship who can help you over time achieve focus on your goals.
At the end of the day, you and the mentor will set the terms of your engagement.
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 in parallel!
What are the main questions I need to ask myself and commitments I need to make before I request a mentoring relationship?
- Think carefully about what you want from the mentoring relationship. 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 able to see a different perspective.
- Be open to seeking mentors outside a specific subject or sector – 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 relationship.
- Initiate and drive the relationship – 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 mentoring relationship.
- Follow through on commitments.
Seek out for your perfect mentor today! Join ACG Connect, go to the directory and find the person who better suits your needs.
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 kind of the relationship.
- When bringing the mentoring relationship to a close it is important for both the mentor and the mentee to evaluate the process and what they have achieved.
- It is recommended that an evaluation takes place before the end, to assess whether the goals set were met or if any of the goals is outstanding. At the end of the relationship it becomes the responsibility of the mentee to put into practice what they have learnt, although you may agree to have some form of interaction in the future.
- Celebrate the successes.
- Make sure that the communication channels established remain open.