I'm excited! But why isn't the protege web application form “live”?
In the past, many new proteges have found the initial informational meeting helpful for suggestions as to how to fill out the form for a good mentoring match. This year we will consequently accept protege sign-ups between the first meeting (October 2) and October 15th. Late applications will not be accepted. Can't make the first meeting? Fill out the the form with as much information as possible about what you are looking for in a mentoring pair.
What if I can’t come to most of the evening meetings, can I still participate?
Most certainly. Many of the pairs interact exclusively outside of the evening Stanford meetings.
I signed up for this program, but now I’m completely swamped with work, life (etc.) and I’m not sure it’s the right thing for me right now. What should I do?
Please let us know if this happens so that we can reassign your mentoring partner and/or remove your form(s) from our database. There is no shame in deciding that the program is not right for you. This will not in any way preclude your participation should you decide to participate in the future. Email us at mentoring (dot) awis (at) gmail (dot) com
Who sponsors this program?
This program is jointly sponsored by the Stanford Vice Provost for Graduate Education and the Palo Alto Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and accepts female science and engineering proteges from graduate and post-doctoral programs at Stanford. There is no fee to participate in the Stanford program and on-campus meetings, but we strongly encourage membership in the Palo Alto AWIS chapter. Membership is quite inexpensive for students and provides free admission to additional monthly off-campus PA-AWIS dinner meetings, normally $15 at the door. http://pa-awis.weebly.com/join-pa-awis.html
I'm a Stanford employee or young professional and I need mentoring. May I participate?
Due to space constraints we cannot formally pair Stanford employees or other professionals as proteges at this time. However, we welcome women in science and engineering with advanced degrees, including post-docs at other institutions, to serve as mentors in our program for more junior women. Many mentors find the evening meetings and contacts with other mentors in the program to be extremely helpful in their own career development while sharing their own experiences with the students. Those seeking more formal mentoring for professionals might consider MentorNet, HealthCare Businesswomen's Association, or the San Francisco AWIS mentoring program.
When do I find out who my mentor/protege is?
Sign-ups will close October 15 and we will start email introductions at the end of October. This is not an automated process, so don't panic if your neighbor gets an email before you do.
What's a mentoring circle?
Sometimes we have a group of students and/or post-docs with similar interests and they are grouped together in a mentoring circle. In the past these groups have met monthly on campus and have been led by a senior member(s) of the mentoring committee. Additional mentors have been invited to attend individual meeting depending on the interests of the group.
I have the contact info for my new mentor or protege... Now what?
Send her an email to arrange your first meeting! We encourage your first meeting to be in person and try to squeeze it in before Thanksgiving. It is usually helpful to indicate where you work/live and if there are times of day/week that would work well. Also, the first time you meet it is useful to exchange cell numbers and/or a physical description in case you need to locate each other in a crowded coffeehouse. This year we will have a fall mentoring social where you can meet if it is mutually convienent.
How do I keep this mentoring relationship going? We're so busy!
We find that it is useful to establish your next step each time you interact. For instance, you might agree to meet in another month for coffee. Or, you might decide to follow up by email in two weeks to get the update on how a difficult conversation went. Alternatively, if you're coming up on a busy time (i.e. December finals or travel), just be honest and agree to touch base when you know thing will be slower (i.e. in the first week of January, and mark your calendar so you won't forget).
Also, keep in mind that there is no “standard” for interactions. You might mainly correspond by email, meet in person a few times during the year (AWIS meetings are a great place to connect), or weekly (maybe you both are on campus and like the same lunch spot). It's up to the two of you. If you find something that you both like to do (hiking, taking the kids to the playground, having coffee, etc.), it's fun to incorporate into your 1:1 meetings.
I have not been able to get a hold of my mentor (or protege). What should I do?
If you have tried to reach out several times and have not heard back from your mentor or protege, please contact us at mentoring (dot) awis (at) gmail (dot) com so that we can address the issue (often email typos) and, if needed, find you a new mentor/protege.
I feel like I'm just getting my own career started or just started a new post-doc. I don't know if I'm ready to mentor someone!
The mentoring committee believes that everyone has insight to share from their experiences and certainly understands the importance of a good match. You can let us know on the application exactly what kind of person or issues you would feel comfortable mentoring. For instance, first year post-docs are often paired with first or second year graduate students who are dealing with the challenges of quals or a new advisor... something much more fresh in a post-doc's mind than many of our professionals!
Also, first year post-docs on our program have let us know that getting to know students has often helped them learn about the many offerings at Stanford, anything from extracurricular activites to the best places for lunch or coffee, or our awesome cactus garden. If you are a post-doc requesting a mentor, we do expect you to give back to the program by concurrently mentoring a student.