A New Year, a New Mentoring Relationship

On January 30, almost 50 alumni and current students met in person and virtually to kick off the 2017 HRIR Alumni Mentoring program.

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Mentoring Committee member Nick Christenson, ’06, served as the in-person moderator, while Committee Chair Marc Gauthier, ’12,  joined virtually.

Back by popular demand, the program matches HRIR alumni with current full-time and part-time students for a year-long, facilitated mentoring relationship. The program provides students the chance to accelerate their personal and professional development, and alumni the opportunity to strengthen connections with their alma mater and develop their coaching skills.

Participants at the kick-off learned what mentoring is (a relationship focused on knowledge transfer, expertise development, socialization, and career development), and what it is not (a buddy relationship, a supervisory relationships, an obligation, or a way to find a job).

Best practice sharing about successful previous mentoring relationships underscored the importance of open communications, consistency, flexibility, and both parties’ willingness to commit to the relationship.

This year more than half of the alumni mentors are not located in the Twin Cities, but the use of technologies like Skype, FaceTime, WebeEx, and Dropbox, as well as more traditional communications tools like email and phone, mean that mentors and mentees can easily stay connected no matter the distance.

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