FAQs

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The Basics

What is the UGA Mentor Program?

The UGA Mentor Program, the University's first comprehensive mentorship initiative, is a digital platform which allows students to form mentoring relationships with alumni, regardless of geographic location, who can help make their future a little clearer.

What are the goals for the UGA Mentor Program?

  • Support students in developing their personal and professional networks with UGA alumni and friends.
  • Provide an avenue for students to explore professional goals, career interests, and workplace preferences.
  • Help students to gain an appreciation for mentoring as a personal and professional development tool.
  • Provide a meaningful opportunity for alumni and friends to connect with UGA students around life, career, and professional experiences.
  • Inspire alumni and friends to strengthen their relationship with and support of the University.

Who is eligible to participate in the UGA Mentor Program?

  • Mentees = UGA students (undergraduate, graduate and professional students)
  • Mentors = UGA alumni (including faculty and staff) and friends of the University (Board members)

Down the road, consideration may be given to expanding access to other members of the Bulldog family.

If I do not reside in Athens, Georgia, may I still participate in the UGA Mentor Program?

Absolutely! This is a global program without geographic boundaries; students and alumni of UGA living anywhere in the world are strongly encouraged to participate. Students and mentors can connect via numerous channels: 1) In-person, 2) phone, 3) email, or 4) video chat.

How are students and mentors connected?

Using the UGA Mentor Program online platform, students and mentors will each complete a profile. After students complete their profiles, the platform will present students with 3 suggested mentors. Students may request a mentor from this list, or they can search for a different mentor based on available search criteria to narrow down the selection. Once the student requests a mentor, the alumni or friend has the opportunity to either accept or decline the request, establishing mutual ownership in the mentorship connection process.

I created an account; however, I never received the confirmation email. What should I do?

  • First, please check your junk/spam email box.
  • If the confirmation email is not there, please contact us at ugamentor@uga.edu. We will confirm your account.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

How long does it approximately take to complete a profile?

It will take you approximately 15-30 minutes to complete your profile. Please note that you will save time in the profile creation process if you initially create your account via LinkedIn. Following, you can copy and paste all of your work experience from your LinkedIn profile into your mentor profile.

Who can see my profile information?

Students cannot view other students, and alumni cannot search student profiles. Once a student makes a mentoring request, that individual alumni will be able to view the student’s profile in order to determine if they believe the mentoring connection is a good fit.

What are the five stages of mentoring relationships?

  • Initiation: Where rapport and trust are established
  • Goal setting: The purpose or goals of the relationship are established
  • Progress making: Marked by an interchange and learning
  • Winding up: The dyads review what they have achieved and their plans to move forward, either independently or together
  • Moving on: From the mentoring relationship; how mentors and mentees decide to interact together in the future, if at all

Clutterbuck, D. (2014). Everyone needs a mentor. 5th ed. London: CIPD Press.

What ethical considerations are suggested as a starting point for mentoring relationships?

  • Autonomy - Promote independence and knowledge
  • Beneficence - Increases well-being
  • Fidelity - Keeping confidences
  • Non-malfeasance - Do no harm

Johnson and Nelson (1999)

Where should our mentorship meetings occur?

All in-person meetings should take place in a public location, such as a coffee shop. Meetings can also take place via phone or video chat.

What activities and discussion topics should mentees and mentors engage in?

Please check out all of our Resources, especially the Suggested Activities and Discussion Topics.

What should I do if I have questions that are not answered online?

We would be glad to help! Email us at ugamentor@uga.edu, and we will get back to you with an answer at our earliest convenience. Also, feel free to come visit us at Clark Howell Hall in the 2nd floor multipurpose room Monday - Friday from 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM.

What should I do if I have constructive feedback and/or recommendations regarding the UGA Mentor Program?

We never stop searching for better answers and solutions; therefore, we would greatly appreciate your constructive feedback and recommendations. Please share with us at ugamentor@uga.edu.

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For Students:

I want to participate as a mentee in the program; however, I am only seeing an option to register as a mentor. What should I do?

Please contact us at ugamentor@uga.edu, and we will get it resolved for you. It takes 4-6 weeks for our student data to updated. Sorry for this inconvenience.

Why should I participate in the UGA Mentor Program?

Networking with your Bulldog family can help you get ahead in life and career, but it can also be overwhelming. The UGA Mentor Program narrows down the world of possibilities to meaningful connections. We are personalizing the mentoring experience; connecting you with mentors that are just right for your commitment. The UGA Mentor Program is a unique opportunity for you to form meaningful and impactful relationships with alumni that will extend beyond campus walls.

What's the commitment?

  • 1-2 hours/month
  • 16 week mentorship
  • Ask questions, be curious

Who serve as mentors in the UGA Mentor Program?

  • Mentors = UGA alumni (including faculty and staff) and friends of the University (Board members)

Mentors are located across the globe. Their knowledge, experience, and perspective will inspire you to achieve your personal and professional goals.

As a student, what is expected of me in the UGA Mentor Program?

  • Commit to the mentoring relationship for the full length of the program (16 weeks).
  • Connect with mentor on a regular basis (once a month phone call, video chat, in-person meeting, or email conversation).
  • Work with mentor to set goals. Solicit constructive feedback and guidance to promote personal and professional development related to these goals.
  • Seek guidance to enhance networking, communication, problem solving, and interviewing skills.
  • Avoid asking for an internship or job opportunity.

What are the mentee do's and dont's?

Mentee DO's:
- Commit at least 1-2 hours per month to your mentoring relationship.
- Take initiative in reaching out to your mentor to regularly schedule meetings.
- Establish expectations for mentorship, detailing the frequency of interactions, duration of meetings, and location of meetings.
- Accept and act upon constructive feedback.
- Honor your mentor's time by preparing discussion topics prior to each meeting.
- Keep all scheduled appointments, and notify your mentor if you need to cancel a meeting.
- Display professional behavior by responding in a timely manner.
- Send your mentor a handwritten thank you card or email for their contributions to your career development.
- Follow-up with your mentor down the road to inform them of how you have applied their wisdom.

Mentee DON'Ts:
- Arrive late to meetings or conference calls.
- Violate confidence. Discussions should stay between you and your mentor.
- Ask your mentor to be a reference for you before you have developed a rapport with them.
- Be unresponsive to your mentor.
- Ask for an internship or job opportunity from your mentor.
- Use inappropriate language or communicate in ways that are derogatory, unprofessional or disrespectful.
- Solicit donations of any kind.

Am I required to attend an orientation session?

Yes, students are required to attend a 30-minute orientation session prior to being able to request a mentor. We will make sure you know everything from best practices to resources available to you. It is an one-time only orientation. After your attendance has been verified, you are good for the remainder of your collegiate career at UGA.

How many mentors may I have at one time?

Because the formal mentorship duration is only 16 weeks, you can only connect with one mentor at a time within the platform.

What should I do if I am a student with a disability?

Students with a disability(s) are not required to disclose their disability(s) at any time before, during, or after the application and mentoring process. If you believe you will require accommodations to participate in the UGA Mentor Program, it is best that you disclose as early as possible, by contacting us at ugamentor@uga.edu. If you are unsure as to what accommodations you might need, please work with our Disability Resource Center to identify what accommodations would best suit your disability(s).

The platform will not allow me to request another mentor. Why is this the case?

The platform doesn't differentiate between a mentor request and acceptance. Students are limited to one mentor at a time. If you have requested a mentor and they have not responded within 7 days, we recommend cancelling the request in order to request another mentor.

I found a mentor I'd like to work with, but the button for "Request Mentor" isn't there. Instead, it says "Mentor [Name] cannot be requested at this time". What does this mean?

The mentorship platform only allows alumni to mentor up to two students at a time. Mentors can select in their account settings how many students they're willing to mentor at one time -- one or two students. If you see the language "Mentor [Name] cannot be requested at this time," this means that this mentor has been maxed out with the number of mentees they're willing to work with at this time. Once the alumnus formally concludes one of their mentoring relationships, they will become available again and you can request them. In the meantime, we recommend you bookmark their profile by hovering over the "More" button and clicking the "Bookmark Profile" button. This will add a quick-access link to their profile in your Bookmarks tab, meaning you can easily get to their profile and check to see their availability anytime you log into the platform.

I requested a mentor and did not receive a response. What should I do?

Please give them several days; they are busy personally and professionally. If after 7 days you don't hear from your requested mentor, log into your account and cancel the request. Following, you can request another mentor.

If you're still having issues, don't hesitate to contact us at ugamentor@uga.edu. We are here to serve and support you; we will help you find a mentor.

Why did a mentor decline my request?

There may be a variety of reasons why a requested alumnus declined your request. They simply may not have the capacity to mentor at this given time. Do not get disheartened. Log back into the UGA Mentor Program, and search for and request another mentor. There are more Bulldog mentors that would love the opportunity to connect with you. The right fit is just around the corner!

What can I do to get the most out of my mentoring relationship?

We are excited that you are thinking of this question. Please utilize the Being a Successful Mentee resource. Additionally, please refer to a full list of Suggested Activities and Discussion Topics in the resources section.

How often should I meet with my mentor?

Once connected, we ask the mentor and mentee to discuss how much time they can commit to the relationship and the duration of their relationship. Our suggestion is invest 1-2 hours/month, but the most important objective is to achieve the set goals.

What should I do if I am experiencing challenges in my mentorship?

If the mentorship is not working and/or if you need support, be sure to contact us at ugamentor@uga.edu rather than waiting until after the mentorship concludes to voice your concerns. We are here to serve and support you.

What should I do if I have concerns about my mentor?

  • Click on the mentor's profile and hover over the "More" button.
  • Select the “Contact Admin" flag icon, and include a message of why you are concerned about this individual.
  • You can also notify UGA Mentor Program team directly via emailing ugamentor@uga.edu and/or calling 706-542-3375.

How do I self-release from a mentoring relationship?

  • When viewing your match in the UGA Mentor Program platform, select the dropdown menu in the top right corner labeled "More."
  • Select the "Release from mentoring relationship" option.
  • Explain the reasoning for ending your mentoring relationship prior to the match period.
  • If you've pressed this by mistake, please email ugamentor@uga.edu for assistance re-establishing your connection.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can participate in the UGA Mentor Program?

No, our goal is that you develop a diverse kitchen cabinet of mentors prior to walking through the Arch to ensure that you are getting a diversity of experience and perspective from your mentors.

I have an extraordinary mentor. May I recommend them to a fellow student?

Absolutely!

  • Click on your mentor's profile picture icon
  • Hit the "More" button
  • Click the "Recommend To" button
  • Type the fellow student's email address (It can be any student; they don't have to be a current participant in the UGA Mentor Program)
  • Click "Send"

What could I offer my mentor?

  • Share articles, podcasts, and/or books that your mentor will enjoy.
  • Offer a new perspective on their industry.
  • Share information about the most current technology and/or applications.
  • Educate mentors on how professors see new industry trends.
  • Share relevant parts of your personal and professional network with your mentor.

What if I want to continue meeting with my mentor after our mentoring relationship formally concludes in the platform?

If you and your mentor agree that you want to continue the mentoring relationship, that is fantastic! Be sure to check with your mentor to confirm that they want to continue the relationship and have the time to continue investing in the relationship.

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For Mentors:

Why should I serve as a mentor?

Being part of the Bulldog Nation goes way beyond a valuable degree. It’s a like-minded community that shares your values and aspirations. College and beyond is exciting, but navigating new territory and new challenges that come with it can be overwhelming. Mentorship has proven to be life-changing with research showing that through friendship and acceptance, a mentor helps students to develop a sense of professional competence and self-esteem needed to achieve career success. In fact, 75% of the top executives in the United States had been mentored, and compared with their counterparts, they earned 28% more, were more likely to have a degree, were happier with work, and were more likely to mentor others . It’s also shown that students are more likely to have increased academic achievement when they have a mentor in college. You can be a part of inspiring the next generation of Bulldogs. With your wisdom and guidance, we can work together to make sure students maximize their UGA experience via connecting with the Bulldog Nation.

What is expected of me as a mentor?

  • Commit to the mentoring relationship for the full length of the program (16 weeks).
  • Connect with student mentee on a regular basis (e.g., once a month phone call, in-person meeting, or email conversation), providing mentee with adequate opportunities for interaction.
  • Work with student mentee to set goals for the program and provide feedback and guidance related to these goals.
  • Share experiences and feedback to develop mentee's networking, communication, problem solving, and interviewing skills.
  • Engage in campus and student life to learn more about the mission and positive impact of the University.

Are there any requirements for being a mentor?

All UGA alumni, including faculty and staff, are eligible to serve as mentors in the UGA Mentor Program. We welcome recent graduates and more experienced alumni. Even Bulldogs across the Globe can participate in this e-mentoring program.

What is the process to become a mentor?

First, complete your profile. You can use LinkedIn to automatically fill in some of your information. Students will be able to view your profile and reach out to request mentorship. It may take a while for a student to discover you due to the size of the program; therefore, please be patient. If you receive a request, we hope you'll accept it. However, you do have the option to decline a student if you simply don't think it's a good fit.

How many students can I mentor at one time?

Mentors can select up to two mentees at one time. This is only encouraged if you truly have the capacity to commit to two mentorship relationships.

How do I adjust the number of students I will mentor at one time?

  • Log in and click on the “My Account” tab either at the top right-hand side of your screen or in the ribbon on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • Then, select the “Participation” tab, and use the drop down to set the maximum number of mentees you would like to connect with at one time (1 or 2).

Will I be bombarded by students requesting me to be their mentor?

No, the mentoring platform limits the number of students who can request you as a mentor. Once you have been requested by a student, you will be removed from the mentor pool. Please note that it is dependent upon whether you select that you can mentor 1-2 students at one time.

How do I know when a student wants me to be their mentor?

You will receive an email and/or text message once a student requests you to be their mentor.

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

We are grateful for your willingness invest in the next generation of Bulldogs via the UGA Mentor Program. After you register for this mentoring program, it may take some time before you are matched with a student, since this is a student-driven program. Mentees are able to search for mentors in our database using select search criteria. The UGA Mentor Program has to ensure a surplus of alumni to students so that students have a vast array of backgrounds to choose from. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure your profile is complete and compelling. We hope to engage alumni who are not currently mentoring students in other capacities. There is a possibility that you may not be selected or that being selected could take a number of weeks or months, so prepare yourself for that possibility.

What is the role of a mentor?

Role of a Mentor

  • Kram (1985) notes that mentors serves two primary functions: career support and psychosocial support. Career support can include helping the new professional learn best practices, methods of advancement, and options for career pathing. Psychosocial support can include the emotional well-being and growth in self-efficacy of the new professional.

Mentors also...

  • Provide a different breadth of experience

  • Provide tailored guidance and support

  • Create a safe environment for self exploration and examination, for considering new ways of thinking, of viewing the world acting, and for change

  • Enable growth and self-efficacy: that is, through the learning partnership the mentee gains the skills and confidence to act effectively independent of the mentor…and mentees form an emotional bond

Eby, Allen, Hoffman, et al (2013). An interdisciplinary meta-analysis of the potential antecedents, correlates, and consequences of protégé perceptions of mentoring. Psychological Bulletin, 139 (2), 441-476.

What's the commitment?

  • Connect at least oncce/month
  • Invest 1-2 hours/month
  • Commit to a 16 week mentorship
  • Share experiences, knowledge, and feedback

What do I get in return for mentoring?

Career Support:

  • Gain recognition by your peers and higher level individuals as a developer of others.

  • Expand your personal and professional network.

  • Develop one's knowledge base by learning from mentees.

  • Increase career satisfaction by offering insight into your industry.

  • Enhance professional competencies.

Personal/Emotional Support:

  • Develop sense of accomplishment via role modeling servant leadership.

  • Enhance sense of pride via fostering the personal and professional development of a Bulldog.

  • Connect with UGA students around life, career, and professional experiences.

  • Increase personal satisfaction through the experience of helping someone else grow and develop.

  • Enrich interpersonal skill development.

I received a mentor request from a student with a different major or professional interest. How can I ensure a quality mentoring experience?

You have much more to offer the next generation of Bulldogs than solely career advice. Students are instructed in orientation to provide you with context on why they want you to be their mentor. If a student requests specific career advice that you cannot offer, consider connecting your mentee with other Bulldogs you know in that industry. In turn, this demonstrates the importance of having a network and will help students develop their own personal and professional network. Find and provide your mentee with resources that will be helpful to their industry. Remember, you can always work on ensuring your mentee developes essential skills for the workforce (leadership, communication, cultural competency, interpersonal skills, active listening) that transcend all professional industries.

What are some strategies to increase my cross-cultural competency?

  • Become Culturally Self Aware

Identify the culturally derived values and assumptions that could affect your relationship. It may be that you were brought up in a culture where sharing feelings is inappropriate or that a one-on-one learning relationship is seen as weakness. What values and assumptions do you hold that someone might not readily understand from a culture other than your own?

  • Develop a Working Knowledge of and Appreciation for Other Cultures

Seek information about your mentee’s culture. What do you know about its people? Its politics and government? Key historical and cultural achievements? Dominant religious beliefs and practices? Family and social structure? Educational system? Economics and industry? Geography, sports, entertainment, and symbols?

  • Improve Your Communication Skills

Ask open-ended questions. Paraphrase and reflect feelings and content. Repeat and rephrase. Talk about areas where there might be cultural misunderstanding. Check for understanding by asking what specific words, phrases, or expressions mean. Avoid examples that are regionally or culturally specific. Whenever possible, use universal examples and be as descriptive as possible.

  • Become Culturally Attuned to Other Cultures

Be aware that people from other cultures may not express their feelings verbally. Avoid asking questions that are personal, embarrassing, or probing.

Zachary, L. Lois Zachary's Mentoring Expert Blog

How do I decline a student's mentor request?

To decline a student's mentor request, select the button just below the mentee's headshot on your home page that says "Decline". You can send the student a message if you would like or simply press decline. The student will be alerted via email that their request was unsuccessful, and they are encouraged to search for and request another mentor.

What should I do if I am not consistently receiving messages from my mentee?

Please be sure to check your spam folder for any potential lost messages. If the problem persists, we encourage you to message your mentee to discuss whether they have over-committed and if it's in the best interest of both parties to release from the mentoring relationship. If you never hear back from the student, you can log-in to the platform and release from the mentoring relationhip. Then, you will be back in the mentor pool for other students to request you as their mentor.

What if I am concerned about my mentee? What if the student discloses concerning information about their personal state?

If you wold like to report concern for a UGA student, Student Care & Outreach encourages you to submit an online report. Expressing concern proactively can help with early intervention and success. Once received, a staff member will contact you for more information. For emergencies, please contact 911.

What if I want to continue meeting with a student after our mentoring relationship formally concludes in the platform?

If you and the student agree that you want to continue the mentoring relationship, that is fantastic! Be sure to check with the student to confirm that they want to continue the relationship and have the time to continue investing in the relationship.

May I suspend my account without deleting it if I need a break?

Yes. If you find that it is an especially busy time for you or you just need a break, you can suspend your account indefinitely or for a set amount of time by visiting the “My Account” section when you are logged into the platform. Click on the tab that says “Participation”. Uncheck the box that says “I want to be searchable in UGA Mentor Program”. Below that, list the start date in which you want to become invisible and the date in which you want to become visible again. If you need to suspend your account indefinitely, just uncheck the box, and you will no longer be searchable in the database. When you are ready to be searchable again, log back in, and check the box to opt back into the program.

How do I delete my account?

If it is a busy time for you or you just need a break, feel free to suspend your account indefinitely or for a set amount of time by visiting the “My Account” section when you are logged into the platform. Click on the tab that says “Participation”. Uncheck the box that says “I want to be searchable in UGA Mentor Program”. Below that, list the start date in which you want to become invisible and the date in which you want to become visible again. If you need to suspend your account indefinitely, just uncheck the box, and you will no longer be searchable in the database. When you’re ready to be searchable again, log back in, and check the box to be opted back into the program.

If you would rather delete your account permanently, please email ugamentor@uga.edu for assistance.