We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) and
responses to them. If you have finished reading them and have an unanswered
question, please contact MentorNet at email@example.com. See questions protégés may have at FAQ for Mentors.
Here is a list of questions protégés may have:
What is MentorNet?
A program developed through research on our 54,000 users since 1997 to help students and early career researchers in science, engineering, and other fields to succeed.
How do you do that?
Two ways: We help you create your profile as a future professional on the Web, where you can share your goals, network with your peers and future colleagues around the world, and continually evolve your profile as you grow and change and get serious about your career.
If you get into the e-mentoring program, we also will find you a personal mentor and nurture your relationship.
You ask for a lot of information when I create my profile.
Yes. That’s to both help make a better match to a mentor and to help fill out your profile.
Is all my information private?
Yes. Everything on your profile is under your control – what to show or not, who you put in your network � and can be changed at any time. We also protect all the information we gather and do not publish or share it without your permission.
Is my relationship with my mentor private?
Yes. We hope you will put your mentor on your own profile page. But if you choose not to, no one will know who you are matched. In any case, no one can or will look in on your emails or phone conversations if you choose to have them.
If you are enrolled in MentorNet through a university or organization, the program administrator will be able to see your usual school info as well as the company and location of the mentor, but not his/her name or contact info.
What is the purpose of the One-on-One e-mentoring program?
The MentorNet E-Mentoring Program is designed for people like you who are pursuing a degree or career in one of the 70+ technical/scientific fields we support and seek help, wisdom, or just some advice from someone who has already launched and established their career.
How does the program work?
� Fill out a protégé Profile, which asks for basic information and interest in discussing common mentoring topics, such as school decisions, work/family balance, and gender issues. This profile also identifies a protégés preferences for a mentor, such as gender, field of work, location, ethnicity, alma mater, and citizenship. A protégé can sign-up and fill out a protégé profile as long as he or she has an .edu email address.
What happens if I don’t get a match immediately?
Make sure your preferences in a match aren’t too restrictive when you fill out your profile. Go back and loosen them up if they are.
Be patient. The system is working on it. If you still don’t find a match with about a week, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org We should be able to find one for you quickly.
How long is the e-mentoring program?
We send out prompts for eight months. But you can declare success for the relationship at any time. We just ask you fill out a brief survey when you and your mentor agree to call it quits.
How much time does it take?
15 minutes a week, more or less. We know this because we’ve already guided 54,000 people through these relationships. It’s actually 14.8 minutes on average.
What am I supposed to get out of it?
Knowledge, skills and tips about what really faces you in your chosen career, which we hope will increase your confidence and improve your chances of success. Also we hope you will grow a personal network of professional contacts, including your mentor, of course, that will improve your job hunting when the time comes.
Do I have to follow the program?
Our prompts are just suggestions. You can take your relationship anywhere you want. We hope you set your own goals for the relationship with your mentor.
What is a mentor?
A mentor is partly a coach, leader, advisor, counselor, teacher, guide, and friend but none of these alone or completely. The original Mentor was the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, who came to Earth as a man to guide Odysseus’ son, Telemachus.
We’ve designed MentorNet to help the mentor give you a taste of the real world of the career you’ve chosen and help you on the path to it.
What happens if my relationship with my mentor doesn’t work out?
It happens for all sorts of reasons. Don’t worry. Email us at email@example.com and let us know the problem. We can unmatch you and then you can find another mentor if you wish.
How do I know if I’m eligible?
Anyone with an .edu address can fill out a profile and find a mentor.
Is MentorNet restricted to certain kinds of people?
Everyone is welcome. Our protégés are men and women from all walks of life, ethnic groups, races, over 80 nationalities, and cultures, and range in age from 18 up. MentorNet was originally developed in 1997 to support women who still are underrepresented in many engineering, science, and mathematics fields. We more recently expanded the program to address the needs of minorities. Now some campuses open it to every eligible student while others direct the program to give real world knowledge and career counseling to specific groups of students, as they see fit. See our Policy below.
Will you ever open up the mentoring program to anyone even if
they’re not on an offical partner campus?
Some day. We think about it all the time.
What difference does it make if my campus or organization does
not show up on the list?
These partnering organizations pay an annual fee to assure their students get priority matching with a mentor. If you’re interested, let your professor or campus career person know about MentorNet.
I don’t know what field I want. I may change my major. Does that
Our research shows that every college student at any level, first year through postdoc, can benefit from mentoring.
95% of our protégés end up graduating!
Since everyone applies over the Internet, how does MentorNet ensure
everyone is who they say they are?
Oh yeah. That’s another reason we restrict the program to students on our partner campuses. Campus representatives verify they protégés are officially associated with the college/university.
How about mentors?
Every mentor who signs up has to provide a reference who can verify the applicant’s identity. When mentors use employer email addresses to sign up with MentorNet, this also helps to validate their identity. But think about it: you’re going to be in an extended relationship with someone about your profession. It’s going to be hard to be an imposter for that long.
Anyway, in 54,000 users, we’ve only had one case and the protégé was quick to realize and report it.
How do you make good matches?
No seriously, we have a nuanced algorithm that takes into account more than a hundred data points. We’re always feeding and tending the magic algorithm based on feedback from our mentors and protégés.
But it’s only an algorithm, folks. At the end of the day, we’re creating complex, variable human relationships, Or should I say, you are, so it’s still up to you to keep your expectations and demands on each other reasonable, treat each other with respect, and make it work.
As a mentor, I’m a volunteer. Why does the protégé get to choose?
The protégé has, in our experience, a greater need to feel ownership of the relationship.
What does it take to be a good protégé?
Be teachable, take initiative, and honor your commitments. Be willing to learn new things, obtain another perspective, and be responsive to suggestions and constructive criticism. Take the initiative to ask your mentor a question, to let him or her know what you are working on, and to ask about his or her academic and professional experiences.
What if I’m too busy to email or text my mentor?
Send them a quick msg or txt or tweet or vmail or mms if too much time goes on. They will worry about you. If you do lose contact, don’t feel guilty and stay silent forever. Your mentor will undoubtedly forgive you.
How will I know what to say?
Once your match is established, we regularly send discussion suggestions to both the mentors and the protégés; both partners receive similar messages. These messages will address initiating and sustaining an e-mentoring relationship and will suggest relevant topics for you to discuss with your e-mentoring partner.
Is everyone matched with a mentoring partner?
Unfortunately, no. While we do all we can, the pools of available mentors and interested protégés do not always match perfectly. If you are not matched in the One-on-One E-Mentoring Program, you can still provide and/or receive mentoring through our community.
Do mentors and protégés ever meet?
Absolutely. The picture on our home page is of just such a meeting. We love it very much.
However, many mentors and protégés will never meet face-to-face because they’re on opposite sides of the continent or world.
We will say this: when face-to-face meetings happen they almost always seem to have a very positive outcome and can be very gratifying, even moving.
How are protégés recruited to participate?
protégés are recruited through our campus representatives who get the word out through email, by putting up posters or flyers, by visiting meetings of students chapters of professional societies, and by encouraging faculty to let students know about the opportunity. protégés also learn about MentorNet through our Facebook and Twitter channels, or word of mouth.
How can I get other protégés involved?
Please direct them to our web site. In addition, you could forward to them a ’Call to Students’ email message, We have also made available a ’Call to Students’ flyer, in both Microsoft Word or PDF formats, which can be downloaded off our web site.
How can I get my college/university involved?
Only faculty or administrative staff of a college or university can sign the campus up for MentorNet participation but student interest is a powerful motivator for them to sign up. Let someone at your school know that you think that MentorNet would be a valuable addition. Direct an interested faculty member or staff person to the Interested Colleges and Universities page, where they can find out more information about MentorNet or sign up your campus. They may also want to learn more about MentorNet’s campus partnerships.
I am not eligible to participate in a MentorNet One-on-One E-Mentoring
Program but I am interested in finding a mentor. What can I do?
If you are a current college student and do not have an active .edu email address or are with a partnering association, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I get re-matched with my previous mentor?
If you are still eligible to participate, sign in to the MentorNet Community and activate your profile (if you haven’t already done so), click on the "Search for a Mentor" link, and then on "Search for My Previous Mentor". You can then choose your mentor.
We will then check to make sure your mentor is still available and let you know within 10 days. Then your match will begin again for another eight months!
May I have more than one MentorNet mentor at a time?
It is MentorNet’s goal for each protégé-mentor pair to have a mutually-fulfilling mentoring relationship and to provide such an opportunity to as many protégés as possible. Therefore, it is MentorNet’s policy that each protégé shall only be matched with one mentor at a time. Any protégé seeking more than one mentor should contact MentorNet. In certain fields where there are traditionally more available mentors than protégés such as Computer Science/Engineering and some other fields, primarily in engineering, MentorNet may be able to accommodate such requests.
Legal announcement of our equal opportunity policy
MentorNet is an equal opportunity organization. MentorNet will not discriminate against any program participant because of race, color, religion, creed, age, sex, national origin (including, without limitation, those for whom English is a second language or those who are immigrants), ancestry, physical or mental disability (including learning disabilities), past history of mental disorder, medical condition including pregnancy, family care leave, cancer and AIDS, status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the wars including Vietnam, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other non-program related factor. Program participation is based on eligibility and will not be unlawfully influenced or unlawfully affected by the characteristics of any program applicant or participant. MentorNet will take affirmative action to ensure that program applicants are considered for participation in the program, and program participants are treated during their participation in the program, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin or any other non-program related factor. Such action will include, but will not be limited to: participation as a member of the MentorNet Community, creating a mentor or protégé profile, being matched in the One-on-One E-Mentoring Program and participation in the E-Forum.
Am I eligible to participate?
A MentorNet protégé must meet ALL of the following criteria:
• An active .edu email address.
• You are pursuing a degree, certificate, or postdoc in any field of engineering, science, technology, mathematics, medicine or are an early-career faculty person within these fields.
• Currently enrolled as a community college, undergraduate, or graduate student, OR employed as a postdoctoral scholar or untenured faculty member.
• Enrolled or employed at a college or university partnering with MentorNet, OR associated with one of MentorNet's Affiliated Partners Plus
• Willing to exchange email messages regularly with a mentor over an 8-month period.