The Mentor Me UC program is an informal staff mentoring program designed to aid in the attraction and retention of key, diverse talent to the university by encouraging career development, supporting diversity & inclusion, and creating a culture of learning.
Mentor Me UC
“I find the mentoring program a powerful tool to link people together that may have not met otherwise.”
-Dawn Broxterman, Business Systems Analyst, BCS
Who Can Participate?
Participation in this program is voluntary; however, there are some considerations:
Potential mentors can be any eligible member of UC staff who has been an employee of the university for at least two years. Depending on their role, potential mentors may need to seek manager approval prior to participation.
Potential mentees can be any eligible member of UC staff who has been an employee of the university for at least one year. Regardless of role, the mentee will need to seek permission from their manager prior to participation. There may be other restrictions based on prior performance management situations. Please talk with your manager and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if there are any questions about your eligibility.
Suggested Expectations, Goals, and Outcomes:
The mentoring pair will determine their goals and outcomes for the mentoring cycle. The recommended mentoring timeframe is nine months. However, the total length of the mentoring cycle will be up to the discretion of the mentoring pair.
The Mentor Me UC program may be used in conjunction with organizational goals set between the potential mentee and their manager. If part of a development plan, the mentee should work with their manager to develop reasonable outcomes. Progress of those outcomes should be a part of the agenda at 1:1 meetings.
Activities related to the Mentor Me UC program should be planned during the normal workday. Non-Exempt staff will not be paid overtime to attend these activities. Please work with your manager to fit this in your normal work schedule.
How Can I Participate?
Potential mentees should begin the process by completing an interest form citing what they hope to obtain from participating in the program. This information will be used to find an appropriate mentor.
The program coordinator from the UCHR Talent Acquisition & Retention department will identify a mentor and notify the pair of their status in writing. Potential mentees may also select someone with whom they would like to be paired.
Questions can be directed to: email@example.com.
What is Informal Mentorship?
Informal mentoring is a strong and valuable tool for developing an employee. It occurs in a relationship that is voluntary and formed by both persons. It is friendship first, learning and career second and third. Informal mentors provide higher amount of several types of career development functions including: coaching, providing challenging assignments, or increasing the protoge's exposure and visibility.*
Tenants of Informal Mentorship
- Unspecified organizational goals
- Long-term mentoring
- No expert training or support
- Indirect organizational benefits
*Source: Journal of Leadership Education, Vol 4, Issue 1, 2005
“As the Associate VP of Facilities Management, I am very excited about UC’s new Mentor Me program. This program will benefit many of our teammates that will receive personal, and professional advice from experienced personnel throughout the university. In addition, our senior leaders who have volunteered to be mentors will receive the personal satisfaction of helping others with their careers.
I have personally volunteered to be a mentor, and I have been paired up with an awesome young man. We meet monthly for about an hour so the time commitment is relatively minimal, but the rewards have been significant. Some of his questions and our discussions have made me reflect on my own life and career choices and think about not just his career development, but also my career development and the career development of the future leaders in our department.
An added benefit to being a Mentor is that I have met a new friend and a new partner from another department. I have learned that the mentee that I am paired with has some skill sets that we don’t have in Facilities Management. The mentee and I will be utilizing these skills to improve our partnership that could provide a significant new revenue stream to one of our business units in the future.
Again, I think that UC’s Mentor Me program is a great idea that provides many benefits to both mentees and mentors and I highly recommend the program to others to develop new relationships.”
-Joe Harrell, Associate Vice President, Faciilities Management
“The University of Cincinnati’s Mentor Me program has surpassed all my expectations. Through our regular meetings, I have gained an experienced ally that I can trust while candidly discussing my work and career. My mentor has provided a valuable outside perspective, critical but honest feedback, professional development advice and guidance, networking opportunities, and the opportunity to learn about more advanced projects. What started as a mentorship has become a friendship and in an effort to pay my experience forward, I am becoming a mentor myself. Personally and professionally, Mentor Me UC has made me better.”
-Luke Willman, Assistant Athletic Direct Marketing & Promotions
The UC Mentor program has made a positive impact on my career development. It is has served as a vehicle that allows me to connect with my mentor in ways that allow me to express my interests and work toward my professional development goals. It has given me the opportunity to develop a friendship where I can learn from my mentor’s professional experiences that I can also apply to my own career.
My mentor has offered her valuable perspective, professional advice, networking opportunities, job shadowing and guidance on broadening my knowledge of the HR field. The opportunity to job shadow has given me deeper exposure to the daily tasks performed in other areas of the HR Centers of Excellence.
Mentor Me UC is a great program and a catalyst for UC employees in supporting the education, empowerment and success of its participants.
-Keisha James, SHRM-CP, Retirement Specialist