Mentorship Program 2015/2016 Summary
In 2015, UA-WiSE and WISER launched a joint mentorship program. 21 trios were created, composed of an undergrad student, a grad student or early career professional, and an experienced professional. The trio gave an opportunity for the undergrad to benefit from two mentors and the grad student to mentor the undergrad under the supervision of the experienced professional and also benefit from mentorship. An added feature, as pointed out by a program participant is that “the discussion is richer with three people involved instead of two”.
There was a huge demand for the program with 190 applicants: 85 graduate students (41 PhD students and 44 Masters students), 39 early career professionals, and 38 undergraduate students. Trios were matched based on participants answers regarding area of specialty, educational background, years of experience, work environment (academia, industry, or government), and areas or skills to develop (professional conduct, negotiation skills, life-work balance, soft skills, technical skills, self confidence).
During the eight month program, the trios met for an hour each month or two hours every other month. Three events were held throughout the year. After each event, an evaluation survey was sent out. The key specification of the program was this fact that it was a dynamic program so the date and subject of the final event was based on the survey results. Handbooks for mentors and mentees were developed specifically for this program. On the final survey, 96% of respondents said they would recommend the program to friends or colleagues. The same percentage would participate in the program in the future.
The mentorship program could not have been possible without the generous sponsorship provided by Shell Canada.
“I enjoy the experience as each member is in a different place in their career and has different experiences to share. I find it educating and enjoyable.”
“I love it. I think we have a friendly and non-judgmental atmosphere.”
“I think having a trio works well especially as I have no knowledge of the specific discipline of the mentees – the early career professional is a very useful resource for the student”
“The program was extremely beneficial, I always felt comfortable at the meetings and I learned a lot about the workplace and got lots of advice about school.”