By Kelly Tiller, ’14
The Women’s International Club on campus hosted a phenomenal event this past Tuesday. At the Mentee Orientation Luncheon, they welcomed 22 new Mentees to the Thunderbird Women’s Mentor Program. Since its inception in Fall 2012, the Women’s Mentor Program has exploded in popularity. With only 4 Mentees in the first cohort, the program has more than quadrupled in size. There are now 44 women involved in the program, 22 Mentees and 22 Mentors. Each Mentor is assigned only 1 Mentee, so the Mentees get very individualized attention. The program is truly global as the Mentees represent several countries such as Brazil, Russia, China and Vietnam, while the Mentors are located all over the world.
The purpose of the program is to connect Thunderbird female students with female Mentors who can contribute to their Mentee’s personal and professional development. It is not a program to help Mentees get jobs. Although, professional mentorship and guidance is a large part of the Mentor-Mentee discussion, they also discuss class projects, leadership opportunities, relationship issues and time management.
“I see the mentor program as an opportunity to get both professional and personal guidance during a time of great change in my life. I think many times we undervalue the advice that others, women in particular, can give to us in terms of decisions beyond the career search, and these are things that aren’t taught in the classroom.” At the Orientation Luncheon, the new Mentees were trained on how to be a good Mentees. It was stressed that the Mentee is responsible for driving the relationship. Mentees were provided with resources such as a Handbook and Discussion Guide to help them prepare for their first conversations with their Mentors.
Program Chair, Kelly Tiller said, “The reality is that compared to men, women face very different opportunities and challenges as they progress in their careers. It is my hope that this program will help Mentees navigate those situations and decisions.”
The Women’s Mentor Program accepts applications at the beginning of each Trimester. If you are interested in participating and/or helping out please email Program Chair, Kelly Tiller at firstname.lastname@example.org