AUP Career Mentoring Program
Guide for Mentors

 

Introduction

AUP’s mission is to educate our graduates to communicate well in a world of many languages, to think critically about history, culture, the arts science, politics, business, communication, and society, to develop creative interdisciplinary approaches to important contemporary challenges, to be both technologically and culturally literate in a world of swift-paced change, to understand the ethical imperatives of living in such a world, and to take their places as responsible actors in communities, civil societies, and countries around the globe.

AUP is dedicated to providing one of the best international educational settings for its students – helping them learn, develop and achieve their potential by giving them the best possible start to their professional lives. It is with this in mind that the Office of Alumni Affairs, along with the Office of Career Development, is working together to build our Career Mentoring Program.

The objective of the Career Mentoring Program is to provide students with practical information, to assist them in building their professional network, and to guide them as they prepare for their futures.

What is an AUP Alumni Mentor

As an AUP alumni mentor you are an inspiration, friend, and resource who shares an AUP education. You are a professional who helps build the way for students to succeed at AUP and beyond.

What are your roles as an AUP Alumni Mentor

Motivator: To express confidence in the mentee’s abilities and to encourage the mentee to pursue his/her goals and to try new things.

Resource: To advise the mentee on how to make professional contacts, how to prepare for the professional environment, and to introduce the mentee to new opportunities, people, places, or ideas.

Supporter: To encourage honest and open dialogue; to listen to and to respond to the needs of the mentee.

Coach: To guide students through a decision-making process rather than determining their path.

How will I benefit as a Mentor

It is our belief that mentoring would be an enriching experience for you and specifically we hope that you will:

  • Refine your mentoring skills
  • Develop meaningful connections with students
  • Learn about AUP’s growing community
  • Expand your professional network


What is expected from our Mentors

  • Spend at least two hours per month building the mentoring relationship
  • Email, telephone contact, or face-to-face meetings with your mentee during the 26-week program
  • From the beginning, set expectations with your mentee for how you will communicate
  • Help your mentee in identifying and setting goals, track progress and make changes
  • Approach mentoring relationship with an open-mindness, professionalism, and respect
  • Mentally support your mentee’s professional and personal development
  • Respond to all communications in a timely manner
  • Maintain and model professional behavior. Define professional behavior if needed
  • Communicate any difficulties related to the mentoring relationship to the Alumni Affairs Office at alumni@aup.edu


What is not expected from our Mentors

  • To offer jobs or internships to your mentee
  • To have all the answers for your mentee
  • To initiate first contact with your mentee


The Matching Process

Students register for the Career Mentoring Program at the beginning of the Fall semester. Then, students attain a mandatory orientation session where they will have to think about their individual goals through the mentoring relationship. Before the orientation session, students will be given access to look through mentor’s profiles (without providing your names yet). At the session, we will collect student’s top 3 choices. Then, we would match mentors and mentees trying to satisfy student’s choices and making sure that every mentor has an opportunity to have a mentee. The Mentee is given your name and your contact details and is expected to make the first contact with you.

Initial Contact with your Mentee

Students are expected to initiate contact with you once the match is made:

  • We encourage the students to send you an introductory email; so, be on the lookout and please respond in a timely manner
  • If the student does not respond to your messages or you have any other troubles, please contact the Alumni Affairs Office at alumni@aup.edu


Unsure in approaching the first conversation

  • Tell your mentee that you are excited about being his/her mentor. Sharing your enthusiasm will help reassure them that you are committed to making the relationship succeed.
  • Build a rapport with your mentee by asking questions about his/her background and experiences. Remember, you have AUP in common and that is a great place to start!
  • At the beginning of the relationship, it is important to talk about expectations and goals for the mentoring experience. Make sure you start this dialogue from the first conversation.



BUILDING THE MENTORING RELATIONSHIP

Set Goals with Your Mentee

There is so much to learn through a mentoring relationship that there are books entirely devoted to how to build a mentoring relationship. However, every mentoring relationship is unique since it is related to one’s personal goals:

  • Setting goals with your mentee at the beginning of the relationship is critical because it gives direction to the relationship and informs you in how to help the mentee.
  • If your mentee does not know his/her goals, this could be your first mentoring moment. You can ask questions such as “What made you sign-up for the mentoring program?” or “What about my profile stood out to you?” or “What are your specific concerns and questions right now?” or simply “How can I help you?”
  • Remember, goal setting can be a process, so make a point to check in and ask the mentee if his/her priorities are changing or evolving.


Set Expectations with Your Mentee

  • Stick to the decision you made with your mentee on how and when you will communicate with each other. Renegotiate as needed.
  • If the mentee is unresponsive at any point in the relationship, initiate contact. Some students could be overwhelmed and forget to contact you.
  • If your mentee doesn’t respond to you after multiple attempts, please contact the Alumni Affairs Office at alumni@aup.edu


Get to Know your Mentee

  • Ask thoughtful questions about your mentee’s interests, experiences and background
  • Follow up on any important steps the student has taken, such as a job interview or a professional experience, and ask what he/she learned


Offer Options Versus Solutions

  • Avoid giving quick solutions. Ask your mentee what he/she is thinking and help him/her process his/her own ideas.
  • Promote independent thought, capture ideas as stated, and resist any impulse to judge ideas
  • Make suggestions of things the student might try. For example, “Have you looked into…” or “Something I found helpful when I was at AUP…” versus “You should…” or “You need to…”


Share Your Story

  • Telling your mentee about yourself and your experiences builds trust and rapport
  • Think about how you have learned from your mistakes and how your mentee can learn from them
  • Share your lessons learned during school and beyond with your mentee


Be a Coach!

  • Encourage your mentee to take risks. They may need a little push, but it will help them in the long run
  • Students have much to learn from a professional like you – everything from how to dress to being on time
  • Don’t hesitate to give your mentee feedback if he/she is not acting in a professional manner – it could make a huge difference for his/her first interview, job and other life experiences


SUGGESTED MENTORING ACTIVITIES

You will decide with your mentee what areas to work on. But, if you need ideas on what to do with your mentee, here is a list.

Job Search process

  • Critique the mentee’s resume and/or cover letter
  • Lead your mentee through a mock interview
  • Offer guidance on where to best look for jobs/internships in your field


Tell Your Story

  • Share how you have balanced personal life and career and what to expect
  • Discuss what you would have done differently at AUP if you had to do it over
  • Talk about how you have dealt with personal or professional challenges


Networking Pursuits

  • If in town, meet your mentee for coffee or lunch; take the opportunity to get to know them upfront and in-person
  • Introduce your mentee to colleagues or other contacts


We thank you for your interest and participation in the program. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email the Alumni Affairs team at alumni@aup.edu with further inquiries.

Career Mentoring

Questions regarding the Career Mentoring Program may be addressed to Alumni Affairs at alumni@aup.fr.


The American University of Paris

Office of University Outreach & Advancement
5, Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg, 75007, PARIS, France
Phone: +33 (0)1.40.62.05.87
alumni@aup.edu

Copyright 2012 The American University of Paris