Volunteering to serve as a mentor in the Mentoring365 program is an excellent opportunity for Earth and space science professionals of all career stages to give back to the community and play a vital role in nurturing the next generation of scientists.
To participate as a mentor in the Mentoring365 program, you must be a current member of one of the partner societies (AGU, AMS, AWG, IRIS, or SEG). Mentors can range in career stage from post docs to senior scientists. The most important requirements are that a mentor is dedicated to providing guidance and has knowledge and experience that will be useful to the mentee. Mentors are expected to commit roughly an hour every other week for the duration of the three-month program.
Once matched, you will be provided a Connection Plan with adaptive resources for the 3-month mentorship. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to work through the Connection Plan to identify and work towards their professional goals. Program objectives are best reached with consistent and regular check-ins. Within a week of being matched, the mentee should contact their mentor to establish an initial meeting. After the first meeting the mentor and mentee should establish a regular schedule to meet and discuss progress. Mentors are asked to meet with their mentee bi-weekly for approximately 30 minutes. In most cases, meetings will be held virtually.
Before being accepted into the Mentoring365 program, mentors must fill out a one-page online application, which include basic questions about:
- The mentor's research interests
- The mentor's areas of expertise to provide advice and guidance
- Prior mentoring experience
- A short paragraph describing your interest in mentoring
Students who are selected for the program will be able to review the above information to select the mentor that is best matched to with their professional goals. It is up to both the mentor and the mentee whether or not they wish to continue communicating after the 3-month mentorship has concluded. Mentors are also expected to fill out online evaluations throughout the program.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is expected of me? Mentors are expected to provide their mentee with about one hour of support and interaction per month. Most of this interaction will take place via web-related tools (for example, Skype or WhatsApp). Face-to-face meetings are also encouraged, if possible. Mentors should work with their mentee to determine what kind of support will be most useful—general career advice, information on higher education, technical information, personal encouragement, and so on.
- How long will the commitment be? We ask our mentors to make commitments of at least three months to ensure that the mentee is able to fully benefit from the relationship. If a mentor must leave the relationship early, we request at least one month's notice in order to search for a replacement mentor with similar background.
- Are there any potential risks to me or my institution? No. It is not appropriate for mentors to engage in any business transactions with their mentees; instead, the relationship should only involve the flow of general information and advice.
- Relationship is not going well or I am concerned about mentorship, what should I do? We encourage being open with your mentee to let them know about the situation. Contact the program administrator immediately. We will provide our full support to resolve the situation in a positive and satisfactory manner.
Connect with Our Mentees!
Share your expertise with those willing and eager to learn.
- COMMIT AT LEAST ONE INTERACTION/HOUR OF SUPPORT per month.
- Take responsibility to initiate the relationship.
- Set aside time for the mentoring process and honor all appointments.
- Invite the mentee to meetings or activities, as appropriate. Schedule meetings with planned topics.
- Be flexible on meeting times and places.
- Arrange frequent contacts through Skype, telephone, email, or face-to-face if possible.
- Respond to emails from your mentee within 2 days of receipt.
- Keep information that your mentee has shared with you confidential. If something concerning the mentee needs to be discussed with others, it should first be discussed within the mentoring relationship.
- Establish open and honest communication and a forum for idea exchange.
- Foster creativity and independence. Help your mentee build self-confidence and offer encouragement.
- Provide honest and timely feedback to your mentee.
- Provide opportunities for the mentee to talk about concerns and ask questions.
- Above all, LISTEN.
- Try to give advice on everything. You don’t need to have the answers to all your mentees' questions. Your job is to answer the questions that you can and to connect your mentee to resources if you there is a question you cannot answer.
- Encourage mentee to be totally dependent upon you.
- Provide your personal history, problems, animosities, successes, failures, etc. unless they are constructive contributions.
- Be too busy when the mentee needs your advice or support. If you do not have time, give the mentee a heads up, so that they know when they can reach you.