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2020-2021 PWCC Mentor/Mentee Program FAQs

2020-21 MENTOR PROGRAM FAQs

Why might the PWCC Mentor Program be good for me?  

The PWCC Mentor Program is designed to foster personal and professional growth.  Participation provides an opportunity to develop a relationship that is confidential and dedicated to helping members reach their personal and career objectives.

Who should apply?

A successful program needs both mentors and mentees, and though the roles are different, each is rewarding.  PWCC members who are ready to "give back" and are interested in sharing their knowledge and experience are ideal mentors for the program.  A special note to prospective mentors:  please don't underestimate your talents or your ability to serve as a mentor.  You know more (and can share more!) than you think.  When in doubt, do!

Ideal mentees are PWCC members who are seeking informal guidance to achieve personal and professional goals and who otherwise need a challenge or accountability partner to encourage them to take the steps necessary to achieve those goals.

What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?  

Coaching is usually a professional (paid) relationship which often focuses on the coachee acquiring or enhancing skills necessary to improve performance in a given area. Coaches do not often offer advice or personal experience to assist the coachee in making decisions and taking actions.

Mentoring—which is the focus of PWCC's program—is a volunteer commitment/relationship established to focus on guidance and advice offered by the mentor to the mentee to help the mentee make longer-term career and professional decisions.  The role of a mentor is not to solve issues or problems.  Rather, the mentor serves as an advisor to help the mentee navigate through their challenges and to provide support throughout.  

Is it OK to specify a particular challenge or skill set I would like to work on as a mentee?

Absolutely! While mentorship can be much more far-reaching than coaching, you are likely to receive a better pairing with a mentor who can assist you with your particular needs if you are specific in making those asks in your application.

I’m concerned I don’t have enough knowledge or experience to mentor someone!

This is a common concern that is usually completely unfounded! If you have several years of work experience and are willing to listen and share, you are likely to make a great mentor. You will have an opportunity to specify any areas of expertise you feel particularly comfortable with on your application form, so please share those areas honestly. The program Co-Coordinators will make every effort to pair you with a mentee searching for just your type of experience and know-how.

How will the application process work?  

The application process for 2020-21 Mentor Program opens on July 29, 2020. Applications must be received by September 7, 2020.  Space is limited, so please apply early! The program has typically accommodated between 10-20 mentor-mentee pairs.  

How are mentors and mentees matched?

The Co-Coordinators of PWCC Mentor Program review all applications and make every effort to effectively match mentees and mentors based on current and desired profession, past experiences, interests, location, work styles and expectations.

Matches will be made by the first week of October 2020.  Once a match has been confirmed, the mentor and mentee will receive their partner’s registration form, LinkedIn profile link/resume and other program-related materials that can be used as part of the initial goal-setting meeting.

How will the mentor-mentee relationship work once the match is made?

The mentee is responsible for setting an agenda for the mentor-mentee relationship and initiating communications with her mentor throughout the program. This includes contacting the mentor as soon as possible to set up the first meeting.  Each mentor-mentee pair can decide what form of communication works for them, whether it be Zoom, phone, e-mail, or in-person meetings.

The mentor and mentee should take time to establish their expectations for the relationship and are encouraged to get to know each other’s interests and talents. Information shared by both the mentor and the mentee should be kept strictly confidential.   

Ideally, each mentor-mentee pair will have meaningful contact approximately once per month for the duration of the program, although this goal may be adjusted to accommodate each pair’s desires, interest and schedule. It is recommended that each pair set up a consistent “standing date” to minimize outside interference with the pair’s meetings.

Will there be a kickoff event for the program?

Yes, although the format of the meeting will be announced at a later date. If in-person meetings are possible and the program participants indicate high comfort levels with such a meeting, the Co-Coordinators may announce an in-person event at a later date. However, it is likely that the 2020-21 Program will kick off with a virtual meeting where mentor-mentee pairs can get to know each other and the Co-Coordinators can set further expectations for the program year ahead.

What if my pairing doesn’t work out?

Pairings are made with a great deal of thought and care and most will work out well for both parties. However, it is not unheard of for a mentor or mentee to need to exit the program or for a pair just not to work out. If this occurs, please contact one of the Co-Coordinators as soon as possible to report the issue. In many instances, issues that arise may be remedied with the assistance of the Co-Coordinators.

Throughout the PWCC Mentor Program, the Co-Coordinators will conduct a number of individual and/or group follow ups. Feel free to raise any issues you may have with your pairing at this time as well.

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If you have any questions as you start the process, please contact the PWCC Mentor Program Co-Coordinators Clara Moko (clara@citystaffing.com) or Kerry Walsh (kerry.a.walsh@gmail.com).  They are available to support you any way they can and welcome your feedback.

Thank you for being a part of PWCC’s Mentor Program! We appreciate your dedication to your professional development and the development of fellow members.  We look forward to working with you!