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The Basics

What is mentoring?

Mentoring, in the context of the ACDA Mentoring Program, is the development of a voluntary, long-term, one-on-one relationship between a mentee and mentor. The relationship is characterized by respect and a conscious effort toward personal growth, mutual exchange, and interpersonal support.

How is mentoring different from networking?

Whereas networking is about developing professional contacts to tap for informational interviews and job leads, mentoring is about a mentor and an apprentice developing a long-term relationship covering a range of career and personal development areas. However, in this new program, if you are looking more for connection and a peer network, you can sign up to access a community. This option will allow you to ask a question to the community, and to respond to others seeking advice.

What if I forgot my username and password?

Select "forgot password" by the login button on the homepage. You will receive an email allowing you to reset your password.

How are the mentoring pairs made?

After apprentices enter their mentor preferences (industry, personal interests, location, etc.), the software's matching engine presents them with an anonymous list of potential mentors sorted according to how closely the mentors match the apprentices' criteria. Apprentices can then request a potential mentor from this list, who then has the opportunity to either accept or decline the request.

What kind of activities should I expect to do while participating in the ACDA Mentoring Program?

Activities are determined by mutual agreement between the mentor and the apprentice. They can include anything from helping to look over a resume to providing insights on how to maintain a good work-life balance. The ACDA Mentoring Program is designed as a resource for helping similar-minded apprentices and mentors find each other. The actual nature of the mentoring relationship, however, will be up to apprentices and mentors to determine and develop individually. For ideas on activities, please see the "For Mentors" or "For Apprentices" sections of the ACDA Mentoring Program site.

How long should I expect to remain in this mentoring relationship?

The mentoring relationship officially lasts for six months, after which the formal pairing will be released in our online system. This, however, does not mean that the mentoring relationship has to end. The ACDA Mentoring Program's goal is to develop long-term relationships between mentors and apprentices, so we encourage both to continue their relationship on an informal basis, as long as both parties are willing.

What if there is a problem with my mentoring relationship?

If you are experiencing any problems in your relationship or have any questions, please notify the mentoring program staff ([email protected]) so we can help you. We want you to have a satisfying experience, and often we can intervene and work toward possible solutions that will improve the relationship.

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Why was my request for a particular mentor declined?

There are a variety of reasons why your requested mentor might have declined you, most of which probably have nothing to do with you personally. It may be an especially busy time for the mentor, or the mentor does not think it would be a good fit. Do not get discouraged. Just go back into the system and search for and request another mentor.

What should I do once I have been paired with a mentor?

We ask you to make the first contact after the mentor accepts the mentoring request. Our hope is that the pair will have an in-person conversation early in the relationship via phone, Zoom, Skype or face-to-face, in which they can get to know each other such as general interests, significant people or events, and likes and dislikes. At the end of the meeting, we ask that the pair go over the questions on the "Mentoring Agreement", which can be found on the Resources page of the ACDA Mentoring Program website. This resource helps the pair mutually determine what kind of mentoring relationship they would like to develop.

Can I request more than one mentor at a time?

The ACDA Mentoring Program is designed to help apprentices establish a one-on-one, long-term relationship with a mentor. We have found that the best way to reach this goal is for apprentices to work with only one mentor at a time during each mentoring session. You can, however, request and work with a different mentor at the end of the six month session by re-registering with ACDA Mentoring.

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I've registered as a mentor. Why haven't I been requested yet?

Thank you for registering. Since the program does not match mentors with apprentices, apprentice selection of mentoring rests largely on the information they see in mentor profiles. Mentees can search for mentors in our database using select search criteria. You can up your odds of being requested by making sure your profile is complete.