Young Professionals Mentor Program
By Stacey Stark, University of Minnesota – Duluth
It's time to sign up for the Young Professionals mentor program at the Fall Conference! We need GIS professionals to volunteer to be mentors, and students (or recent students) to sign up to be mentees.
The Young Professionals Mentor Program was a success last year, and all nineteen participants gave very positive feedback. There were more mentees than could be matched. Mentees showed great appreciation for the opportunity to meet with a GIS professional and connect with others at the conference, so let’s make sure we will have enough mentors this year!
Mentors will be asked about the kind of students (or interests) they would like to connect with and about their specialty in GIS. At the conference, each mentor is asked to:
- meet their mentee before the opening plenary and sit with them, and
- invite them to eat at their table (with other colleagues if possible) at the Thursday lunch.
That's it! Suggestions for conversation and other activities will be provided. The idea is that you will share your work experience with them, answer questions, help them make connections, and help them navigate the conference. Possibly there will be a connection beyond that, but there are no obligations. I will send out suggestions and meeting place information before the conference.
Mentees will wear a special tag and will have a designated meeting place and the Thursday reception to connect with one another. Remember, you don't have to be young or a student to be a mentee – any graduate of a GIS program 2010 or later will qualify.
If you are not interested in participating, we can still use your help to spread the word about the Young Professionals Mentor Program by talking to the students and recent graduates you know. Thanks for your help and for sharing your experience with young GIS professionals in Minnesota.
Please contact Stacey Stark (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign up or for questions.