Mentoring Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is the MIT Sloan Alumni-Student Mentoring Program?
A: The MIT Sloan Alumni-Student Mentoring Program connects current MIT Sloan students and alumni, providing them with an easy way to form rewarding, mutually beneficial relationships. The program begins in the fall where mentors and mentees are invited to connect through the online platform for a period of six months. Students and alumni are encouraged to continue communicating outside the official program after the official mentoring period ends.
Q: What are the expectations of the Mentees and Mentors?
A: Expectations for Mentees
- Reach out to at least one potential mentor within one week of signing up for the program.
- Maintain regular and frequent contacts with your mentor, a minimum of two connections per month. Have at least one face-to-face or Skype/Facetime exchange within the first month.
- Communicate in a prompt and respectful manner. If you must change plans, give as much notice as possible.
- Remember that you own your development. Take initiative to identify objectives as well as to keep the mentoring relationship focused and moving forward.
- Agree upon two goals for the mentoring sessions. These can be personal growth, career management, or academically related.
- Be prepared to ask for specific advice on your skill set, ideas, plans, and goals. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for your mentor to respond.
- Keep the content of discussions within the mentoring relationship confidential. All your exchanges with your mentor--both personal and professional--are subject to the expectations of professional confidentiality.
- Be appropriate in your requests of your mentor. As a reminder, your mentor is not responsible for assisting you find a job. While they may end up helping with your search process, this is not their primary function.
- Provide feedback about the mentoring relationship and be open to receiving feedback. Be honest, yet tactful.
Expectations for Mentors
- Be available and responsive to your mentee. Please respond to Mentee Requests online within 48 hours of receiving notification.
- Maintain regular and frequent contacts with your mentee, a minimum of two connections per month. Have at least one face-to-face or Skype/Facetime exchange within the first month.
- Stay in contact with your mentee. Even a short email or phone call can make a big difference.
- Keep scheduled appointments. If you must change plans, give as much notice as possible.
- Demonstrate interest, helpful intent and involvement. Provide feedback and encouragement.
- Keep the content of discussions within the mentoring relationship confidential. All your exchanges with your mentee--both personal and professional--are subject to the expectations of professional confidentiality.
- Help your mentee in identifying and setting goals. Agree upon two goals for the mentoring sessions. These can be personal growth, career management, or academically related. Follow up on your mentee’s goals.
Q: How does it work?
A: Students and prospective mentors begin the process by completing an online user profile asking for general information about education, professional experience and accomplishments, and career and personal goals and interests. Conveniently, the program is able to upload data from your LinkedIn profile making the profile very easy to complete. While students and mentors can view profiles for all participants, the system suggests matches based on profiles, and provides students with a targeted list of prospective mentors.
Once all mentors and mentees are in the system, students can then reach out to prospective mentors to begin a mentor/mentee relationship. Mentors can accept requests from as many students as they would like depending on their preference. Once a connection is established, helpful tools are provided to facilitate meetings and discussions.
Q: What information is included in my mentoring profile?
A: Each mentor and mentee will be asked to complete a profile which includes questions relating to educational and professional experience. The profile also includes information about interests, areas of expertise, and personal goals. Some of this information can be conveniently uploaded from LinkedIn. The profiles are intended for mentors and mentees to determine suitable matches so it is of interest to both parties to fill out the profiles thoroughly.
Q: How does the program suggest mentoring matches?
A: The MIT Sloan Alumni-Student Mentoring Program brings a new level of clarity and efficiency to mentoring. The online platform uses an algorithm to ensure logical, relevant match suggestions. When viewing potential mentor matches, mentees will notice that there is a percentage next to mentor profiles. This suggests their compatibility with your profile. While it is recommended to request mentorship with someone with whom you have been found compatible, however you are welcome to partner with any mentor.
Q: What is the time commitment involved?
A: We ask mentors to commit to a minimum of six months to one year of participation in the program to ensure that mentees fully benefit from the relationship. If a mentor must leave the program, we request that they provide one-month notice. Mentors and mentees can determine how often they are in touch and for how long. The time commitment within the 6-12 months is completely determined by the mentor and mentee. We suggest you discuss these expectations at the start of your mentorship.
Q: Why should I consider serving as a mentor?
A: Working with students one-on-one can provide you with new insights and fresh perspectives, and keeps you connected to the innovation that drives MIT Sloan. By helping to prepare the next generation of successful graduates, you will also build and strengthen the MIT Sloan alumni network. Mentoring is a personal, important way to impact a student and give back to the School.
Q: As a student, why would I want to be in the program?
The Alumni-Student Mentoring Program will provide you with the opportunity to form one-on-one relationships with successful alumni. Mentors understand your career goals and can help you navigate both the MIT Sloan experience and post-graduation opportunities and challenges. They can also make introductions to other professionals within and outside of the greater alumni community.
Q: Is the MIT Sloan Alumni-Student Mentoring Program a way for students to find a job?
A: No. While it is a great way for students to connect with alumni for valuable career guidance and other support, it is not intended as a job search tool.
For any other questions or assistance, please contact Emily Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-324-7338.