Do I need to be an UWP alum to participate in this program?
Yes, the UWPIAA Mentoring Program is offered only to alumni, including those from Sing-Out!, WorldSmart and Voices. This program is for our alumni at any stage in their careers.
How long does the program run?
The official ‘start’ of the mentoring program is Fall 2023. When you apply, you are committing to participate in the program for 6 months. Following the initial group, we will survey participants to determine if the length of the program worked well, or if we should reconsider the program length.
Can I continue my mentoring relationship after the initial 6 months?
Yes, and we encourage it. If you both agree, you may continue for as long as you like.
When can I apply?
Online application for both Mentors and Protégés will open in August 2023. Check the timeline section for specific dates.
When does intake for applications close?
Applications are usually accepted for a period of 4 – 5 weeks. The exact deadline will differ year to year and will be included in the initial email and subsequent communication to alumni. This information can be found in the timeline section.
Is there a charge to participate in this program?
There is no charge for alumni to participate in the program. UWPIAA believes in the value of mentoring for our alumni and want to make the program inclusive and accessible to all.
I have already self-identified someone to be my mentor/protégé, can I apply to the program and ask for that person specifically?
Yes, you can. However, we only match people together if both parties have agreed to work together. Both the mentor and the protégé need to complete their online application and specifically request to be matched with each other.
Does everyone get a match?
While every effort is made to provide all applicants with a match, UWPIAA cannot guarantee that you will be placed in the program as this is determined by the number of program volunteers and appropriate matches in any given year.
I was matched with someone who doesn’t exactly possess the qualities I had indicated on my application. Why did this happen?
We do our best to find you the best match possible given the pool of mentor candidates. Unfortunately, we can’t ensure there will be a mentor who meets all of your requirements. Our aim is to find every protégé a mentor as best we can and that sometimes means that both protégés and mentors need to be flexible when it comes to expectations about their match.
What happens if I don’t get matched?
We do our best to find everyone an appropriate match, but it all depends on the number of applicants. If we are unable to find you a match, we will notify you before the start of the program. Things can change, however and if an appropriate match is found during the 1st month after the program starts, we will contact you to see if you are still interested in participating. After the 1st month, if we still haven’t found you a match, you will have to reapply.
Will my match be in my time zone?
Not necessarily, however you will list your level of flexibility in the application and we will do our best to meet those requests.
How and when do I connect with my partner?
This will the part of the first discussion the two of you have – what is your preferred time of day, day of the week and week of the month to meet. Together you choose which is best for you both––Zoom, Google Meet, FB Messenger or WhatsApp. We highly encourage a platform that will allow for video to help build your relationship and level of comfort with one another.
Can I be a mentor and a protégé?
Yes, however you must complete the online application details for each position separately and be mindful of the time required.
Can I mentor more than one protégé?
Yes! If you can find the time to mentor more than one person, and there are multiple requests in a certain field, we would be delighted to have you support several people.
What are the qualifications to be a mentor?
Professional work experience, highly skilled and ability and willingness to communicate, share experience, and give constructive feedback.
Is it possible to find a mentor to help me sort through a personal challenge vs. a professional one (for example retirement, divorce, death of someone close to me)?
While the intention of this program is to connect alumni for professional development purposes, there are times that this network may be a valuable resource for other skills. It is critical to note however, that any transfer of knowledge in these areas is in no way a replacement for qualified legal, financial or other professional counselling.
If I have a question about my match whom do I contact?
You may reach out the Program Manager at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org First, you must try your best to build a connection and make this relationship successful, as you would do on your day-to-day basis at work.
How often should I connect with my partner?
You can connect with your partner as often as you like, but it is important to connect at least once a month in order to maintain a valuable relationship. Some professionals have less discretionary time than others; therefore, their approach for staying in contact may vary (e-mail, video meetings, telephone calls, etc.). Accessibility and maintaining contact are essential for the relationship. We also recommend a minimum of 1 hour per month.
What are the requirements to meet with my partner?
Form and frequency of the contact between mentors and protégés will vary according to each pair’s availability. Be flexible and creative.
How and what are we going to talk about during our first meeting?
You and your partner have been provided with information on how to find one another (e-mail, telephone, location, time zone, etc.). Remember, you and your partner have been matched on the basis of something you have in common. More than likely you will have similar interests. If, after the first few minutes of meeting with your protégé, you do not find much to discuss, you may want to tell them more about yourself, such as hobbies, organizations for which you volunteer, etc.
What do I tell my partner about myself?
Your partner is probably very interested in your professional life. Share with him or her information about yourself and how you became interested in the profession, your current role, or your involvement with UWPIAA. You may share personal information at your discretion. Some people may wish to connect with you personally as a general point of reference. If you are uncomfortable with this, however, it is imperative that you share this at the outset.
What kinds of activities can I do with my partner?
The activities will depend on both parties’ availability. Most of the participants are very busy so using an online platform is likely to be most common, but if possible try to schedule a social activity (virtual coffee/drink, networking or UWPIAA event) if/when possible. Undoubtedly, there are activities that you engage in regardless of whether you have a mentoring partner or not. If it is possible to meet in person you are not expected to pay for them. It is important to discuss boundaries and expectation early on.
What do I do if my partner shares very serious problems or confidential matters with me?
If you believe that a professional is needed, you may suggest that your partner speak to someone who will refer them to an appropriate person for assistance. Also, be sure to tell your partner that the information discussed will not be shared with friends, family members, or colleagues.
What do I do if the relationship with my partner is not working (i.e. lack of interest)?
Remember that you must try your best to build a connection and make this relationship successful, as you would do on a day-to-day basis at work. If after a few interactions, it is clear that the relationship will not work, please contact the Program Manager to discuss further solutions. Matching mentors and protégés is very challenging. It may be that we will have mentor/protégé matches that just do not work. Please do so as early as possible as we may be able to re-match you with another partner.
I am a new alum, and I don’t have professional experience yet. Can I apply to the program?
New alumni who don’t have any professional experience can apply to be a protégé in our program. While every effort is made to provide every applicant with a match, UWPIAA cannot guarantee that you will be placed into the program.
I am a recent alum with special skills or experiences that may be of interest to other alumni. Can I apply to be a mentor?
Absolutely! Reverse mentoring is one of the objectives of this program, and this is a prime example. Perhaps you can help with technical proficiency, or how to demonstrate inclusiveness. Learning is a lifelong process!
What is the MP Accountability Agreement & MP Development Plan and why is it important?
The Accountability Agreement & Development Plan serves as the backbone for the mentoring relationship. It provides the framework for the scope of the relationship and acts as a contract between the mentor and protégé. You will need to discuss this agreement during your initial conversation or meeting. It serves to determine the confidentiality standards, establish the boundaries for the relationship, help you set your meeting schedule, and set out ways to monitor progress. Templates are given to all participants once accepted into the program.
Can I earn professional development credit/hours for participation in the MP?
Check with your professional association to determine if this program meets their continuing professional development (CPD) standard. Some, for example, may provide credit for activities at 1 CPD hour per hour of mentoring contact to a maximum of 10 CPD hours. Check at the same time what the tracking and reporting requirements are to ensure you get credit for the time spent in the MP wherever possible. The MP Manager can provide verification of the fact that you are a participant in the program for any given year for the purpose of CPD audit; however, you must maintain your own log of the actual time spent with your protégé or mentor.